Northeast Arizona Places


Canyon de Chelly


From about mid-April through late September, free three-hour ranger hikes depart most mornings from the Canyon de Chelly visitor center—call ahead for times and to reserve a spot. Year-round, you can book a Navajo guide–led day hike or overnight camping trip through Ancient Canyon Tours. Some trails are strenuous and steep; others are easy or moderate. Those with health concerns or a fear of heights should proceed with caution.

Only one hike within Canyon de Chelly National Monument—the White House Ruin Trail on the South Rim Drive—can be undertaken without an authorized guide. The trail starts near White House Overlook and runs along sheer walls that drop about 550 feet. If you have concerns about height, be aware that the path gets narrow and requires careful footing. The hike is 2.5 miles round-trip, and hikers should carry their own drinking water.

Ancient Canyon Tours. This Navajo-owned tour company offers both day-hiking and overnight-camping excursions into the park's two canyons, de Chelly and del Muerto. The moderately difficult day hikes venture into some of the park's most spectacular backcountry and can last from three to four hours, if covering the lower parts of the canyons; and to as long as nine hours for excursions into the higher terrain. The cost is $25 per hour (three-hour minimum) for up to 15 hikers; there are additional $30 per-guide and $30 per-night land-use fees for overnight trips. Chinle, AZ, 86503. 928/380–1563.

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