Canyon de Chelly - Images from an Ancient People
Canyon de Chelly (pronounced shay) is a beautiful, unique land located within the Navajo nation in Chinle, Arizona. It's a National Monument as well as Navajo land. People have been living in the canyon for nearly 5000 years,beginning with the ancient Anasazi, then the Hopi, and now the Navajo.
Wikipedia has a good article about it.
The site cover over 83,800 acres and contains three large canyons, de Chelly, del Muerto, and Monument. You can drive around the rim and stop at overlooks. Or you can take a closer look by either a hike or a jeep tour with a Navajo guide. From the comfort of a 4x4 jeep, we toured Canyon del Muerto.
The Anasazi built their homes in caves high up on the canyon walls.
The National Park Service site has much better pictures that show the vast scale of the high canyon walls. The writing isn't graffiti but from the Anasazi.
No one knows why the Anasazi left or where they went.
How they reached these high places is a mystery to me!
The canyon was beautiful and amazing. Our Navajo guide, J.D., was very knowledgeable and friendly. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Chinle, which was great. Clean, good food, and friendly people. They have info about the tours. Many of the guides will pick you up there, which is what J.D., from Antelope House Tours, did for us.
We didn't get to do the rim tours because a large storm was brewing. So that will have to wait for another trip. Most people visit in the spring and the fall, although J.D. said they do tours all year, weather permitting. The Navajos don't live in the canyon during the winter because of the cold temperatures, which is a good sign that it would be too cold for my tastes. J.D. said the summer temps can be very high. But we were lucky and had a beautiful morning for our tour.