Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Map - Weather - Location

Overview |Climate/Map | Description | Things to Do
Where to Stay | Nearby/Resources | Video


Canyon de Chelly National Monument is located on a high plateau in northeastern Arizona near the center of the Navajo Reservation of the Four Corners. It encompasses 130 square miles and three splendid, red-walled canyons --- Canyon del Muerto, Monument Canyon and Canyon de Chelly, from which it derives its name.

The Four Corners area is centrally located on the Colorado Plateau at an average elevation of 6,000 feet, lying between the Great Basin and the Rocky Mountains. Canyon de Chelly is a gorge cut through the Defiance Plateau, an uplift of a gently sloping monoplane separating Black Mesa Basin to the west from San Juan Basin to the east. The eastern section of the Defiance Uplift ends in the Chuska Range comprised of (from north to south) the Lukchukai, Trunicha and Chuska Mountains.

At an elevation of 5,000 to 6,000 feet, the Canyon de Chelly area is characterized by extremes of temperature and very low humidity. Temperatures in the canyons can range between 105 degrees F. in summer to -30 degrees F. in winter. The average annual rainfall is about 9.6 inches.


Click for Chinle, Arizona Forecast

Getting There

By Auto
From Interstate 40 just inside the eastern boundary of Arizona, take U.S. Route 191 north 75 miles to Chinle, AZ, then drive another 3 miles to the Monument Visitor Center.

Public Transportation
To Monument: access by plane, bus, train to Flagstaff, AZ. No public transportation in the Monument.

Canyon de Chelly - PDF -- A map of the park can be downloaded here.

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Overview |Climate/Map | Description | Things to Do
Where to Stay | Nearby/Resources | Video

Other DesertUSA Resources
Gem Trails Guides Book
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Desert Rocks, Minerals & Geology Index
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Canyon de Chelly National Monument Video
Canyon de Chelly NM offers the opportunity to learn about Southwestern Indian history from the earliest Anasazi 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.

Glen Canyon Dam
Held behind the Bureau of Reclamation's Glen Canyon Dam, waters of the Colorado River and tributaries are backed up almost 186 miles, forming Lake Powell. The dam was completed in 1963. Take a look at this tremendous feat of engineering - the Glen Canyon Dam.

Lees Ferry
Due to the shale deposits which slope gently to the river here, Lees Ferry was the only place to cross the Colorado River for 260 miles until the Navajo Bridge was built across Marble Canyon in 1927. Join DesertUSA as we explore this historic site.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Video
The movie Stagecoach, in 1939 introduced two stars to the American public, John Wayne, and Monument Valley. Visiting Monument Valley gives you a spiritual and uplifting experience that few places on earth can duplicate. Take a look at this spectacular scenery in this DesertUSA video.

Oatman AZ & the Wild Burros Video
Oatman is a fun place to visit -- an authentic old western town with burros roaming the streets and gunfights staged on weekends. The burros are tame and can be hand fed. Enjoy an exploration!