Canyon de Chelly National Monument

This is what we hoped to see, however we had no idea how spectacular the remains of these ancient dwellings would be. Below, The White House is the only site that visitors can access without a guide. There is a two and a half mile trail from the rim to the valley floor…but more about that later.

The White House Ruins are a must-see.

Canyon de Chelly has been inhabited for nearly 5,000 years. It is currently part of the Navajo Nation and serves as the cultural and geographic heart. We were up bright and early for our 9:00 am canyon tour. If you want to really see the canyon and learn about the history, this is the way to go. It was a wild ride!

Access to the canyon is through a seasonal wash. Our tour guide, Francine, picked us up and we were joined by another couple. We all piled into her (aptly named) Ford Expedition. Francine was a fearless driver as she plowed upstream, through the water and across the rocks and into and out of the gullies.

The top left photo shows the access through the wash. We drove through the water for the first quarter mile, passing a pickup truck firmly stuck in the mud. Francine thought the occupants had a little too much fun racing up and down the river the day before. Several young men were trying to dig the truck out. The canyon narrowed and scenery became more beautiful as we drove upstream.

Francine warned us that the three-hour tour would go by quickly, and she was right. We arrived back out of the canyon filled with more facts and figures and anecdotes that any of us could remember. It was a great morning!

Reg and I headed back to our room to grab lunch from our trusty ice chest…then headed right back to the park to try the hike down to The White House ruins. It was time for some exercise!

The weather was warm and the wind was calm. A great day for a hike to the bottom of the canyon.


Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Canyon de Chelly National Monument

  1. Carolyn shupe

    Very interesting it looked like you were with a man who had a white beard. On closer examination I saw the sun on his chin and there was Reg. The Souyhwest is quite interesting. Keep blogging my friends.


  2. 2orangebags

    Hello Carolyn! We are loving this area…we have much more to see, off to the Santa Fe, Durango and Moab areas for about 10 days.
    Hope you and the “kids” are doing well. Say hi for us!


  3. Nancy Hardwick

    Reg and Sue;
    What an awesome trip you are having! I love your pictures and comments! I have been to some but not all of the places you are now enjoying; very fun to see! Keep the blogs coming!


    • 2orangebags

      Hi Nancy, Thanks for the nice words and for faithfully following us. This is sure beautiful country!


  4. Cynthia

    If you haven’t already, read Blood & Thunder at your earliest convenience. It makes the Canyon even more resonant. Glad you had a good trip.


    • 2orangebags

      Thanks, Cynthia. Our guide at Canyon de Chelly recommended the book also, so it is on our list. Did you go to the Southwest with the boys?



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