About Canyon De Chelly

Explore One of the Most Unique and Fascinating Places in North America - Canyon De Chelly

Inhabited since 2500 B.C., Canyon de Chelly and del Muerto shelter hundreds of ancient dwellings, many poised on sandstone ledges.

The major ruins in Canyon de Chelly and del Muerto include the White House, Mummy Cave, Sliding House, Antelope, First, Junction and Standing Cow. Other ruins are found out of the park in the lesser known canyons of Painted Cave, Three Turkey and Little White House canyon. As well, thousands of ancient petroglyphs and pictographs grace the canyon walls, left behind by the canyon's previous inhabitants over the centuries.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument was established April 1, 1931 as a unit of the National Park Service and is located in northeastern Arizona, within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation. The monument covers 131 square miles and encompasses the three major canyons: de Chelly, del Muerto, and Monument.

The canyons were home to the Ancient Pueblo Peoples (also called Anasazi) and Diné or Navajo. The Navajo continue to inhabit and cultivate the canyon floor to this day. Canyon De Chelly lies in the heart of the land of the Navajo between the Four Sacred Mountains. This is a very sacred and beautiful place for the Navajo. It is a place where all the life giving sources are abundant. For the Navajo and others, it is a place of great peace where important lessons can be learned and great strength and power can be found.

On the top of Canyon De Chelly is one of the places the Navajo Holy Ones first set their foot. This is a very holy place. It is here within the canyon that the Holy Ones taught the Navajo how to live. A spectacular geologic feature is Spider Rock, a sandstone spire that rises 800 feet (240 m) from the canyon floor at the junction of Canyon de Chelly and Monument Canyon. Spider Rock is home to the Navajo being - Spider Woman who possessed supernatural powers at the time of creation, when Dine (Navajo) emerged from the third world into this fourth world. The Legend of Spider Woman


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