Canyon De Chelly National Monument

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Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Canyon de Chelly National Monument (Pete Ryan/National Geographic/Getty)

Contact Details
P.O. Box 588
Chinle, AZ 86503-0588
Visitor Information: 520-674-5500

Quicksand, deep dry sand, and flash floods make the canyons hazardous. For your safety, the protection of the many fragile ruins, and respect for the privacy of the Navajos whose land this is, you are allowed to travel in the canyons only when accompanied by a park ranger or an authorized guide. Travel to and from White House Ruin on the hiking trail is the only exception to this rule. If you wish to hike elsewhere or take your own four-wheel-drive vehicle into the canyons, the park ranger on duty at the visitor center will help you arrange for an authorized guide and will provide you with the necessary permit. In winter and at certain other times of the year, the canyons are impassable.

When conditions are suitable, Thunderbird Lodge, near monument headquarters, offers commercial trips up the floors of the canyons in vehicles especially equipped for canyon travel.

Please do not pick up or remove any objects or climb or sit on walls of canyons or ruins. And please do not enter a hogan or take photographs of Navajos without their consent.

Please make sure you obtain the latest list of park regulations and safety tips before you begin your exploration of the Monument.

Cottonwood campground is located 1/2 mile from the visitor center and is open year-round. Individuals are limited to a five-day stay and campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. From April through October facilities include restrooms, picnic tables, water, and a dump station. From November through March facilities include portable toilets and picnic tables. Water is not available during the winter months. There are no shower facilities. You can arrange a horseback riding trip that includes saddling up for a day's exploration of the Canyon and sleeping in designated campsites. Group sites are available and can be reserved 90 days in advance. Call 520-674-5500.

Recreational vehicles are allowed in the campground. The maximum length permitted is 35 feet.

The Thunderbird Lodge and cafeteria is located 1/2 mile from the visitor center. The lodge is open year-round and offers a reduced rate from November 1 to February 28. Call 800-679-2473; reservations are recommended. The Canyon de Chelly Motel is located in downtown Chinle, one block east of Highway 191. The motel is open year-round with a full-service restaurant, gift shop, and indoor pool. For reservations or information call 800-327-0354 or 520-674-5875. A Holiday Inn is located 1/2 mile from the visitor center. The hotel is open year-round and offers reduced rates off-season as well as a swimming pool and a variety of services. Call 520-674-5000 for information.

Other Services
In the town of Chinle you will find fast food outlets, service stations, grocery stores, and Laundromats.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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