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 the canyon and see these sites through their eyes, as they share stories that have been passed down over generations, deepening your experience.

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Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Plan ahead to explore one of the longest continually inhabited areas on the Colorado Plateau.

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