From Chinle, take the road less traveled in the geographical heart of the navajo nation.
Experience the sacred places of Chinle, which offer splendid solitude and a glimpse into ancient – and modern – ways.
The Navajos call Chinle’s Canyon de Chelly, “Tseyi,” translated literally as “inside the rock.” In a state known for many geologic wonders, it’s among the most striking and least visited.
Now a national monument, the canyon is massive – it encompasses 83,840 acres. Shaped over millions of years by the twin forces of rushing water and land uplift, this comparatively little-known canyon features sandstone walls that rise more than 1,000 feet. The most distinctive feature is a towering finger-like monolith known as Spider Rock that juts up from the canyon floor.
Inhabited by humans for more than 5,000 years, it still sustains modern-day Navajos who live and farm the rich soils in the valley. Largely unchanged, the canyon holds well-preserved ruins such as White House Ruins and Canyon del Muerto. You can behold many of the scenic overlooks on your own. But by touring with a tribal guide, you’ll be able to enter into the canyon and see these sites through their eyes, as they share stories that have been passed down over generations, deepening your experience.