Check out articles about Canyon De Chelly Beauty Way Tours below:
Get on “the Rez”
The Navajo Reservation covers more than 27,000 square miles, stretching across four states, yet most visitors to the Southwest simply drive through it. “The rez” is on the way to the Grand Canyon, on the way to Lake Powell, and on the way to Monument Valley. But if you decide, as we did, to stop at a few places on the rez, you’ll remember forever the people, their stories, and the astounding canyons, mesas, and natural beauty.
Canyon de Chelly (pronounced d’SHAY) is three miles from Chinle, Ariz., and it’s the center of the Navajo Nation in more ways than one. The steep sandstone walls of the canyons have been home to native peoples for more than 5,000 years. Throughout the canyons, ruins of cliff dwellings, grain storehouses, and petroglyph carvings of men, horses, and handprints are the visual remnants of ancient pueblo peoples. Today, 40 Navajo families maintain homes and traditional hogans (the eight-sided Navajo dwelling used for ceremonies) inside the canyons. These families consider themselves very fortunate to have land inside the sacred canyon, and the parcels are passed down through generations.
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Touring Canyon de Chelly
by Susan White, The San Diego Union-Tribune’s enterprise editor
On the fourth day of our trip across America, my husband and I have begun to settle into our new roles. He calms me down when the computer goes haywire. I help him find his lost stuff. Together we load and unload the car with the precision of a NASCAR crew.
Today (Wednesday) we spent three hours in a Jeep, touring Canyon De Chelly National Monument (pronounced de-shay), which is on the 3 million-acre Navajo Indian Reservation in the northeastern corner of Arizona. Ruins and pictographs from early civilizations can be seen on the steep, red cliffs that surround the canyon. Down below are the homes of Navajo families who live there today.
At this time of year a wash of water flows over the canyon floor, but our guide, Donvan Staley, steered his Jeep into it without hesitation. Our three-hour trip became a four-hour trip, in part because Staley stopped twice to help guides from competing companies extract their vehicles from the soft sand.
“I help people so in turn they will help me,” said Staley, 32. “That’s how it works. That’s what my father taught me.”
Staley’s ties to the canyon go back at least five generations. His great-grandfather guided visitors through the canyon. So did his grandfather and father. Now he’s hoping that his first child, who is due July 23, will find what he has found in the canyon — a link to the past that can help balance the present. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE
Navajo placenames and trails of the Canyon de Chelly system, Arizona
A book Chauncey and Daniel Staley contributed to.
Check out this Great Video from 1983 called “Seasons of a Navajo”. This is a great documentary on how our great grandparents use to live in the canyon