Canyon de Chelly National Monument

MODERATE 14 reviews

Canyon de Chelly National Monument is a 15.5 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Chinle, Arizona that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for nature trips and scenic driving and is accessible year-round.

15.5 miles
1574 feet
Point to Point

kid friendly

nature trips

scenic driving


no dogs

scenic driving
1 month ago

This place is a gorgeous and seldom visited oasis, every bit as impressive as the Grand Canyon and without any of the crowds. Only one hiking trail is accessible by the public and has its own listing on AllTrails. Otherwise the canyon floor is accessible only at a cost with a Navajo guide. The 2 roads, south rim and north rim, are paved and carry general thru traffic as well as well as there being residences throughout. There are a series of well marked turnouts for the viewpoints with vendors stationed at most, even when signage is posted prohibiting. Drive 10 minutes, take in the view, hop in the car, drive another 10 minutes, lather/rinse/repeat. Entrance is free. There are a decent number of services available in Chinle for being on the reservation, but otherwise this is pretty out there which keeps the crowds down. I brought my dog to every viewpoint but in keeping with park rules, left him behind for the white house trail and of course clean up after him everywhere we go. The Thunderbird lodge provides the only pet friendly accommodations in town and we had a really nice overnight there, was unexpected but would return without hesitation. Visited south rim in afternoon/evening and north rim the following morning to catch the best lighting. Beautiful to visit but this isn't much of a "Trail" kind of destination.

4 months ago

Mostly driving. Hike to the White House is about 3 miles. A must do when in area.

scenic driving
9 months ago

The drive along the rim here is something to see. Each viewpoint gets higher and higher off the canyon floor. I went as far as Spider Rock overlook. Pretty close to 1000' sheer drops from that spot. No guardrails at all when I was there years ago. Need to be careful, especially if you have kids in tow. Definitely worth going to see though.

scenic driving
11 months ago

Canyon de Chelly had some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. We didn't have time to hike (plus you need an escort) so we ended up driving to all the points on the South Rim. It is best to drive the South Rim in the afternoon and the North Rim in the morning because of the sun. Beautiful area!!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

one of the most beautiful hikes ever

scenic driving
Wednesday, November 02, 2016

One of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. Loved the whole experience.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hiked from Bat Cave Canyon down into Canyon de Chelly. Past Spider Rock and Face Rock. Saw lots of pictographs and petroglyphs, as well as ruins and pottery shards. Wonderful and awe-inspiring. Climbed out at Sliding House Ruins. Kudos to Benjamin, my Navajo guide, who ALSO took me up Canyon del Muerte the next day.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hiked the White House Trail. Opened my hiking season here this year. It was pretty easy trail made difficult carrying my 2 year old. Hot mid-way and beautiful at the bottom looking up. No pets are allowed so I had to leave my dogs home.

scenic driving
Monday, March 18, 2013

We stopped overnight here at Canyon de Chelly. Awesome views from both sides of the canyon.

scenic driving
Sunday, March 11, 2012

After a brief visit at the Painted Desert Visitor Center, we got back on I-40 and headed east to Chambers and took a left on hwy 191 north to Canyon de Chelley at Chinle, with free admission to the park. We traveled above the rim of a 1,000 foot canyon stretching along a flat, green and sandy bottom dotted with hogans (hexagonal structures of logs and earth that Navajos use as both homes and ceremonial centers - one was at the visitor center), cliff dwellings, and red rocks. We took the 16-mile constantly ascending south rim drive with 8 overlooks and dramatic vistas (vs. the 15 mile north rim drive Canyon de Muerto). Near the mouth of the canyon was Tunnel Overlook, where a short narrow canyon feeds into Chinle Wash, which is formed by streams cutting through the canyons of the national monument. The next stop is the Junction Overlook, which overlooks the junction of Canyon del Muerto and Canyon de Chelly. Here we saw the Junction Ruin through our binoculars; the ruin has 10 rooms and a kiva. First Ruin, which is perched precariously on a long narrow ledge, was also visible. In this ruin are 22 rooms and two kivas. The third stop is White House Overlook, from which we saw the impressive 80-room White House Ruins, which are among the largest ruins in the canyon. Although we did not hike it, from this overlook is the only opportunity to descend into Canyon de Chelly descending 600 feet to the canyon floor, cross Chinle Wash, and approach the White House Ruins on the White House Trail. The buildings of this ruin were constructed both on the canyon floor and 50 feet up the cliff wall in a small cave. Although you cannot enter the ruins, you can get close enough to get a good look. Unsupervised access is restricted to the rim overlooks and to this single trail into the canyon - for all other trips down or along the canyon, a Navajo escort is required. The 2.5-mile RT hike takes about 2 hours. The black streaks on the sandstone walls above the White House Ruins, known as desert varnish, are formed by seeping water, which reacts with iron in the sandstone (iron is what gives the walls their reddish hue). A well-maintained trail, there are a couple of short tunnels, plenty of cacti and lizards, and the track passes a farm and an orchard before crossing the stream to the Ruins. Near the stream, just before the second tunnel, there is an interesting short cut down a narrow gully, using old foot-holes carved in the sandstone walls. Once at the White House, rest rooms and Indian jewelry sellers detract a little from the experience but the delicate well-preserved buildings beneath the 500-foot sheer cliff are well worth the trip. The fifth stop was Sliding House Overlook. These ruins were built on a narrow shelf and appear to be sliding down into the canyon. Inhabited from about 900 until 1200, Sliding House contained between 30 and 50 rooms. This overlook is already more than 700 feet above the canyon floor, with sheer walls giving the narrow canyon a very foreboding appearance. The last stop on the South Rim was the most spectacular, Spider Rock Overlook. This viewpoint overlooks the junction of Canyon de Chelly and Monument Canyon. The monolithic pinnacle rises 800 feet from the canyon floor, its two freestanding towers forming a natural monument. Across the canyon from Spider Rock stands the similarly striking Speaking Rock, which is connected to the far canyon wall. We drove back down the one-way drive to 191 and headed north to the Four Corners Monument. On our way, we saw several dust devils, which are desert tornados and really neat. Looking through Maui Jim sunglasses we could really see the funnels well. A great drive.

scenic driving
Thursday, March 01, 2012

On our way back from Mesa Verdi CO to Phoenix AZ, we stopped to view Canyon De Chelly's South Drive. The scenic highlight was Spider Rock at 800' above the canyon floor. We didn't have much time to spend exploring the canyon floor, access was limited to tour groups at the time. Worth the ride.

8 months ago

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016