Canyon de Chelly National Monument

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

It takes some effort to access the remote canyons on the Navajo Nation. Visitors content with a scenic drive have plenty to see once they reach the spectacular area in the northwest corner of Arizona. To explore these canyons and get up close to the stunning rock formations, visitors must schedule a tour with an authorized Navajo guide. On guided tours, visitors get the inside story on this sacred place where canyon walls cradle hundreds of ancient pueblo ruins and a contemporary Navajo community herds sheep and grows crops on the canyon floor. Hotels in Chinle, the gateway to the canyon, make a great overnight option in this remote area of Arizona.

NOTE: White House Overlook and Trail, one of seven overlooks and the only public trail on South Rim Drive, remains closed due to safety concerns.

Scenic Drives

Two self-guided drives follow the rims of the canyon, with three overlooks on the North Rim Drive and six overlooks on the South Rim Drive. The 130-mile loop road leads to stunning views of crimson cliffs towering over agriculture fields that thrive at the bottom of the canyon. At the end of South Rim Drive, take in the sights from the popular Spider Rock overlook, featuring the park’s signature geologic formation. There are no entry fees to drive the rim roads, but authorized Navajo guides are required to explore the canyons.


The best way to experience the canyon up close is to join a Navajo-led tour. On excursions into Canyon de Chelly, visitors hike, ride in Jeeps or travel on horseback into areas with lush valley floors surrounded by sheer sandstone cliffs. Along the trails, guides point out ancient pueblo ruins built by their ancestors and share areas that have been cherished for generations. White House Ruins can be seen from one of the overlooks on South Rim Drive, but the public hiking trail has been closed for safety concerns.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Navajo Nation Attractions

In the northeast corner Arizona, natural wonders abound in the expansive Navajo Nation. See vibrantly colored tree fossils at Petrified Forest National Park and explore the Painted Desert’s eerie badlands, both viewable from I-40 on the way to Canyon de Chelly. North of the canyon, Monument Valley’s red sandstone mesas and Navajo National Monument’s ancestral pueblo ruins capture the natural beauty and cultural significance of this special place. South of the canyon’s entrance in Chinle, stop at Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado to shop for authentic Navajo arts and crafts.

For More Information

Canyon de Chelly National Monument
PO Box 588
Chinle, AZ 86503
(928) 674-5500

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