Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Overview of Canyon de Chelly

Climate/Map | Description | Things to Do | Where to Stay | Nearby

Canyon de Chelly Aerial View (Getty Images)

Canyon de Chelly National Monument offers visitors the opportunity to learn about Southwestern Indian history from the earliest Anaszai basketmakers to the Navajo Indians who live and farm here today. Its primary attractions are ruins of Indian villages built between 350 and 1300 AD at the base of sheer red cliffs and in canyon wall caves.



General Information

Seasons / Hours

Canyon de Chelly National Monument is open year-round, but some of the inner canyons are impassable in winter and at certain other times of the year.

Rates & Fees

    There is no fee to visit Canyon de Chelly National Monument! Feel free to visit the overlooks or hike the White House Trail on your own. 

    BACKCOUNTRY PERMITS & COTTONWOOD CAMPGROUND: The Navajo Parks and Recreation Department (NPRD) issues backcountry permits and manages the Cottonwood Campground. The NPRD office at entrance of the campground collects fees for backcountry permits and camping. Call 928-674-2106 for more information.

    CANYON TOURS: Local private companies offer canyon tours along the canyon floor by hiking, horseback or vehicle. Tour operators must be contacted directly for rates and reservations. For a current listing of operators, contact the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department at 928-674-2106.

    SPECIAL USE PERMITS: Special events such as weddings, large group events, and commercial filming or photography require a Special Use Permit that may include fees, liability insurance, security bond and even compliance clearance.

    Canyon de Chelly (Getty Images)

    Articles About the Park

    Survey of Archaeological Investigations

    A measure of Time Jay Sharp explores the canyon



Visitor Center

Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, October to April; 8 am to 6 pm, May to September.
Features: Museum




Visitor Center museum has regional books and cultural demonstrations, local artist exhibits and ranger-staffed information desk available.

Meals are served at Thunderbird Lodge in the Monument, but no food or supplies are available in the Monument. Food and supplies, motels, gasoline, and other services are available 3 miles west in Chinle, AZ.

The Visitor Center, parking area, rest rooms and some overlook areas are accessible.


Ranger-conducted activities are generally available every day May through September. These activities include morning coffee at the Visitor Center Hogan for orientation, daily canyon hikes, natural history programs at Junction Overlook and campfire programs at the Campground Amphitheater.

This area remains the home of the Navajo people who celebrate Navajo Day every Saturday, May through September, with activities relating to Navajo history and culture.



Rules, Regulations, Precautions

  • Federal regulations prohibit entering the canyons without a park ranger or authorized guide with permit.
  • It is unlawful to enter any ruin of an archaeological site, or to deface, disturb or destroy any natural feature or artifact.
  • Alcohol consumption or possession is prohibited in the park and on the Navajo reservation.
  • GPS units and cell phone services are unreliable throughout the Navajo Nation.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Box 588
Chinle, Arizona 86503
(928) 674-5500


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