Curiousity compelled us to make a quick weekend roadtrip to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Along the way we decided to stop by one of the most-visited national monuments in America: Canyon de Chelly near Chinle, Arizona.
Views from the top of the incredible vertical walls of Canyon de Chelly are exquisite to behold. In the past, access to the bottom of the canyon was difficult, making the area an ideal home for prehistoric Native American villages (between A.D. 350 and 1300).
Can you spot the White House Ruins in the distance?
This is the top of Spider Rock, where the mythical Spider Grandmother resides. There are various Native American myths involving Spider Grandmother (aka Earth Goddess), but in the most popular variation (Southwestern), Spider Grandmother is the creator of the world. According to mythology she was responsible for the stars in the sky; she took a web she had spun, laced it with dew, threw it into the sky and the dew became the stars.
Visitors can hike the 2.5 mile out and back trail to the bottom of Canyon de Chelly and get up close to the White House Ruins. It is the only available access to the canyon itself without hiring a Navajo guide.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument Overview
- Address: Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Indn Rte 64, Chinle, AZ 86503
- Fees: FREE
- Length: Trail to White House Ruins – 2.5 Miles Out & Back
- Difficulty: Easy
- Usage: Light
- Hours: Daily, 8am – 5pm
- Website: nps.gov/cach
- Pets allowed: “Pets on a leash are welcome on the North & South Rim Drives and in the campground. Pets are not permitted down the White House Trail or on any canyon tours. Exceptions are made for service animals.”
- Camera info: Canon EOS-M + Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM, iPhone 6