Heaven aka Navajo Nation – Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly, Navajo by Edward S. Curtis

Canyon de Chelly – Navajo. This awesome photo was taken in 1904. Seven riders on horseback and dog trek against background of canyon cliffs. It wasn’t until 1931 when President Hoover authorized the area as a national monument to preserve the important archeological resources that span more than 4,000 years of human occupation. The monument encompasses approximately 84,000 acres of lands located entirely on the Navajo Nation with roughly 40 families residing within the park boundaries. Photo #1 by Edward S. Curtis

Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, USA - 1873

Canyon de Chelly 1873 – more than 130 years later, nature retains her beauty and land looks very nearly the same. Photo #2 by Timothy H. O’Sullivan, War Dept., Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army

Canyon de Chelly, panorama of valley from mountain

Canyon de Chelly, 1941, panorama of valley from mountain. Photo #3 by Ansel Adams; Produced on behalf of the National Park Service

Heaven aka Navajo Nation - Canyon de Chelly

Heaven aka Navajo Nation – Canyon de Chelly. Photo #4 by Wolfgang Staudt

Sunrise at Canyon de Chelly viewpoint Arizona

Sunrise at Canyon de Chelly viewpoint Arizona. The monument covers 131 square miles and encompasses the floors and rims of the three major canyons: de Chelly, del Muerto, and Monument. These canyons were cut by streams with headwaters in the Chuska mountains just to the east of the monument. This collection of images is a tribute to de Chelly and part one of our tribute to the Navajo Nation. Photo #5 by Jono Hey

in Canyon de Chelly

In Canyon de Chelly National Monument which was established in 1931 as a unit of the National Park Service. It is located in northeastern Arizona within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation. It preserves ruins of the early indigenous tribes that lived in the area, including the Ancient Pueblo Peoples, called Anasazi, and Navajo. Photo #6 by Marc Tarlock

Not only are there incredible houses built into gigantic sandstone cliffs, but also features like Spider Rock in a giant split in the canyon

Spider Rock Canyon de Chelly Arizona. Not only are there incredible houses built into gigantic sandstone cliffs, but also features like Spider Rock in a giant split in the canyon. Photo #7 by Jono Hey

Canyon de Chelly is unique among National Park service units, as it consists entirely of Navajo Tribal Trust Land that remains home to the canyon community

Canyon de Chelly is unique among National Park service units, as it consists entirely of Navajo Tribal Trust Land that remains home to the canyon community. Access to the canyon floor is restricted, and visitors are allowed to travel in the canyons only when accompanied by a park ranger or an authorized Navajo guide. There are several well-preserved cliff dwelling sites that were occupied by the ancient peoples who lived in the canyon. Most can only be seen up close if you arrange for one of the jeep tours through the canyon floor. Photo #8 by Michael Seljos

White House ruins in Canyon de Chelly National Monument

White House ruins in Canyon de Chelly National Monument. One of the hiking trails is White House Ruin Trail. It’s 1.25 miles one way and drops down 600 ft. The hike takes approximately 2 hours. Photo #9 by Cacophony

Sunrise and cottonwoods at Canyon de Chelly Arizona

Sunrise and cottonwoods at Canyon de Chelly Arizona. Before the rocks turn red, a line of cottonwoods in the canyon is the only color in the ground. Just above the trees, if you look carefully, you can see the set of houses beneath the giant weeping cliff. Photo #10 by Jono Hey

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly sustains a living community of Navajo people, who are connected to a landscape of great historical and spiritual significance. Photo #11 by Wolfgang Staudt

White House Ruin in Canyon de Chelly

White House Ruin in Canyon de Chelly. Photo #12 by RK & Tina

View Canyon de Chelly National Monument

To view, visit Canyon de Chelly National Monument there are several views by driving. North Rim Drive is 18 miles and takes approximately 2 hours. There are 3 overlooks and this drive is best in the morning for photography. South Rim Drive is 16 miles with 7 overlooks. This drive is best for afternoon photography. The drive time is estimated at about 2 hours. Then there are hiking tours, canyon tours and campgrounds. Photo #13 by Gary M. Stolz – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

View East from Spider Rock Overlook

View East from Spider Rock Overlook. Photo #14 by RK & Tina

Navajo dwellings at Canyon de Chelly Arizona

Navajo dwellings at Canyon de Chelly Arizona. Photo #15 by Jono Hey

South Rim at Canyon de Chelly National Monument AZ

South Rim at Canyon de Chelly National Monument AZ. Photo #16 by Paolo Rosa

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona - Antelope House

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona – Antelope House. Photo #17 by Andreas F. Borchert

Some views from the rim of Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Arizona

Some views from the rim of Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Arizona. If you plan to hike, bring your own water and plan to haul out your trash. Like my mom says, it’s important to leave no trail when hiking or hacking.😉 Seriously, who would want to ruin such beauty by leaving behind their trash? Photo #18 by mark byzewski

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA, View from White House Overlook to northeast. Photo #19 by Greg Peterson of Negaunee, MI

 Reflecting one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America, Canyon de   Chelly sustains a living community of Navajo people, who are connected to a landscape of great   historical and spiritual significance

Reflecting one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America, Canyon de Chelly sustains a living community of Navajo people, who are connected to a landscape of great historical and spiritual significance. Photo #20 by Jim Lawrence

Rock art panel near the entrance to the canyon

Rock art panel near the entrance to the canyon or Tseyi’. Photo #21 by National Park Service

White House Ruins, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, AZ

White House Ruins, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, AZ. Ancient Anasazi ruins in Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Note the large petroglyph on the cliff below and to the right of the two white towers. Photo #22 by Les Kopel

Looking into Arizona's Canyon de Chelly

Looking into Arizona’s Canyon de Chelly. Photo #23 by Greg Peterson of Negaunee, MI

Deep Twilight - Canyon del Muerto at dusk, Canyon de Chelly National MONUMENT

Deep Twilight – Canyon del Muerto at dusk, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. Photo #24 by RK & Tina

Canyon de Chelly Petroglyphs - People on Horseback

Canyon de Chelly Petroglyphs – People on Horseback. There are nearly countless pictographs which are painting on the rocks and petroglyphs with are pecking on the rocks at Canyon de Chelly. This ancient rock art goes back thousands of years to record the history and culture here. Photo #25 by Andreas F. Borchert

Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Photo #26 by Cacophony

Navajo dwellings at Canyon de Chelly Arizona

Navajo dwellings at Canyon de Chelly Arizona. The Ancient Puebloans found the canyons an ideal place to plant crops and raise families. The first settlers built pit houses that were then replaced with more sophisticated homes as more families migrated to the area. More homes were built in alcoves to take advantage of the sunlight and natural protection. People thrived until the mid-1300’s when the Puebloans left the canyons to seek better farmlands. Photo #27 by Jono Hey

view of Petroglyph Rock area at Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly National Monument – view of Petroglyph Rock. Photo #28 by National Park Service

White House Ruins in Canyon de Chelly near Chinle, Arizona were built about 1200 by the Anasazi, a Navajo word meaning the Ancient One

White House Ruins in Canyon de Chelly near Chinle, Arizona were built about 1200 by the Anasazi, a Navajo word meaning the Ancient One. Descendants of the Puebloans, the Hopi migrated into the canyons to plant fields of corn and orchards of peaches. The Hopi permanently settled on the mesa tops. The Navajo settled the Southwest between the four sacred mountains. The Navajo, or Dine’ as they call themselves, continue to raise families and plant crops just as the “Ancient Ones” had. The farms, livestock and hogans of the Dine’ are visible from the canyon rims. Photo #29 by Greg Peterson of Negaunee, MI

Cottonwood Canyon

Cottonwood Canyon – Canyon de Chelly Monument. Photo #30 by National Park Service

Canyon de Chelly Ledge Ruin Close View

Close view of the ledge and ruins at Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. Another hiking trail is Three Turkey Ruins where most of the original structure is still intact. It gets its name by the rock art of three turkeys visible on the upper room wall – slightly to the left of the door. Photo #31 by Andreas F. Borchert

view from the head of Cotton wood canyon at Canyon de Chelly Monument

Canyon de Chelly National Monument – view from the head of Cotton wood canyon. Photo #32 by National Park Service

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. Rock art panel near Antelope House, showing pronghorn and other animals

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. Rock art panel near Antelope House, showing pronghorn and other animals. Photo #33 by National Park Service

Spider Rock and Face Rock

Spider Rock (left) and Face Rock (right). Photo #34 by National Park Service

80-yr-old grandma overlooking Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona

80-yr-old grandma overlooking Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. Photo #35 by Michael Seljos

Spider Rock, about 250 meters high. Canyon de Chelly

Spider Rock, about 250 meters high. Canyon de Chelly is one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America, located nearby the Navajo village of Chinle in Arizona. Photo #36 by vtveen

Tunnel Canyon at Canyon de Chelly

Tunnel Canyon at Canyon de Chelly. Photo #37 by National Park Service

Canyon de Chelly National Monument -- Landscape

Canyon de Chelly National Monument — Landscape, view of Sliding House area. Photo #38 by National Park Service

Mummy Cave Landscape - Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Look at the middle of this photo and then slightly right. In the shadows, you can just make out dwellings in the cliff walls. This is a Mummy Cave Landscape – Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Photo #39 by National Park Service

Canyon de Chelly - view from Tsegi overlook

Canyon de Chelly – view from Tsegi overlook. Photo #40 by National Park Service

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. Rock art panel near Antelope House

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. Rock art panel near Antelope House. Photo #41 by National Park Service

horses drinking from the wash in Canyon de Chelly

Horses drinking from the wash in Canyon de Chelly. Photo #42 by Sharon Sperry Bloom

canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. White House Ruin

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona – White House Ruins. Photo #43 by National Park Service

Canyon de Chelly First Ruin - First ruin, i.e. westmost ruin within the canyon

Canyon de Chelly First Ruin – First ruin, i.e. westmost ruin within the canyon. Photo #44 by Andreas F. Borchert

Canyon de Chelly Junction Ruin

Canyon de Chelly Junction Ruin. Did you know that the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department is one of the oldest programs in the Navajo Nation government? It was established in 1964 and is charged with the responsibility to the the Navajo Nation’s primary caretaker of special lands set aside for preservation. It’s mission is to wisely manage Navajo parks, monuments and recreation areas for the long-term benefit of the Navajo people and government. The Navajo Nation is comprised of essentially private lands, therefore all non-Navajo visitors must abide by and comply with the laws, regulations and policies promulgated by the Navajo Nation government, including those governing Navajo parks, monuments and recreation areas. Photo #45 by Andreas F. Borchert

Canyon de Chelly National Monument waterfalling

Water falling and cliff dwelling at Canyon de Chelly. Photo #46 by National Park Service

View near Beehive Cave

View near Beehive Cave. Photo #47 by National Park Service

Petroglyphs - Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA

Petroglyphs – Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, USA. Photo #48 by National Park Service

USA, Arizona, Canyon De Chelly, SpiderRock

USA, Arizona, Canyon De Chelly, SpiderRock. Photo #49 by www.Gernot-Keller.com

Canyon de Chelly National Park - view of canyon mouth

Canyon de Chelly National Park – view of canyon mouth. Photo #50 by National Park Service

17 thoughts on “Heaven aka Navajo Nation – Canyon de Chelly National Monument

  1. Wow, this is so awesome, your photos knocked me out, what a paridse on one side, and hard living on another side. However, wide open spaces for the Natives to enjoy their life in the best way they know how. Thank you for sharing this, I am a Lakota girl, Little Bear

  2. Thank you for sharing this phenomenal collection of photographs. It is truly one of the most beautiful and spiritual places on earth. The Navajo Nation is a place of great beauty and it’s not hard to imagine why the Dine struggled so hard to return to their lands, but Canyon de Chelly seems to me the most special place of all.

  3. Geri bildirim: Magnificent Monument Valley – 46 Fantastic Photos – Navajo Nation Part 2

  4. I just finished a great, great classic by Willa Cather “Death Comes for the Archbishop”. The last chapter is a moving description of the Navaho tragedy and final triumphant reclamation of their native lands. Cather celebrates the Dine and describes the spiritual significance of this mysterious canyon. – Magnificent photo tribute. Thank you so much!

  5. I was told by a Mormon (LDS) Man that there were no horses in the Americas prior to the Spanish arriving here; they brought the first horse. There is no fossil record 0f horses. The Book of Mormon claims that the first arrivals here came by sea from the Middle East. They found horses here, domesticated them and fought great battles on horseback. Mormon art depicts these scenes, showing horses, but their source is the Book of Mormon. To me, this casts grave doubt on the veracity of the Book Of Mormon.
    But, my real point is, Indian rock art depicting horses is not of ancient origin–it’s phony and should be labeled as such by the modern Indians that oversee these sites. But please, don’t take my word for it; research what I’ve said here with the scientific community, not religious organizations. This holy land needs no phoniness in it.

    • I doubt that any “Mormon Man” would tell you that there were no horses in the America’s prior to the Spanish arriving; especially since the Book Of Mormon clearly state that there were horses brought over by the earliest of settlers from the Mediterranean Middle East.
      And, it is sort of a conflict of terms to want to “…research what I’ve said with the ‘scientific community’, not religious organizations…” since this IS a Sacred Holy Land, and anything “religious” is usually immediately discounted by the ‘scientific community’.
      Most of what is written in the Book of Mormon, is an accounting of the earliest of colonizers that fled the Mediterranean Middle East and settled in these continents and is being born out in comparing what is written there and what is being discovered here now.
      But, let’s not get into a bickering or a nay-saying contest here. Let’s celebrate the beauty of a special land for our original Americans! Shirley, YOU are correct!

  6. re John Hepburn’s claim that “Indian rock art depicting horses” is phony and should be labeled as such. I don’t recall anyone saying that ALL the pictographs and petroglyphs were made by the Anasazi. In fact I have seen articles explaining how you can tell the difference between those done by the Anasazi and those done by later artists, such as the Navajo. Why aren’t the Navajo’s experiences in the canyon just as valid subjects for recording as those of earlier people? The 1805 Narbona panel of the Spanish soldiers is an excellent example of that. Their expedition led to the massacre of many Navajo. I don’t hear anyone objecting to “Massacre Cave” because it isn’t an ancient happening. History is an ongoing thing and should be recorded in many ways – through the written word, through paintings and photographs, and yes, even through rock art.

  7. Parv,
    Swatkikas are common symbols of many cutures from around the world and across time.
    Can’t agree more on the beautiful pictures. However, I can tell you from experience, the pictures do not do it justice, compared with the experience of seeing it first hand. It is overwhelming. Everyone I know who has been to both the Grand Canyon and Canyon de Chelly will tell you, the Grand Canyon is big, but for beauty, it pales in comparison to Canyon de Chelly.

  8. The pictures knocked us out!! We are doing a play about Spiderwoman, and Spiderman. It was nice to see the pictures that showed us spider rock. Thank you!!

  9. Geri bildirim: Psychedelic Pow Wow Party: Happy Thanksgiving! [50 PICS]

  10. To preserve this beautiful area, that has been the grounds of many people, is one of the greatest things done by this nation. The test of time proves that man can survive just about anywhere, for many, many years.

  11. really nice quality pictures, it is really a beautiful place that God has created for our enjoyment. i have been thru some of the areas like seen in pictures and it is something
    to view and to be there in person is even better. thank God for what He has given us and
    thank those who took these pictures.

  12. Thank you for the memories of my hike into the Canyon to see the White House. The views here from the rim are fantastic. Also remember Carol Draper the Navajo jewelry manufacturer we met on the rim. Truly beautiful country!

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