Monday, April 9, 2012

Canyon de Chelly



On April 1, 1931, Canyon de Chelly National Monument was recognized as part of the National Park Service.  The lengthy uninterrupted terrain is found in the northeastern part of Arizona, inside the border of the Navajo Nation.  The more than 83,000 acres includes floors and rims of three major canyons, maintained ruins of early native tribes, and amazing rock formations.  

The steep walls of Canyon de Chelly were carved by the ever changing harsh weather of the desert.  For many centuries, Canyon de Chelly provided a home for the Navajo populace.  With its rich soil, many streams, plants, and animals who roamed the lands, the families who lived there felt safe from the world around them.  In 1806, Lt. Antonio Narbona’s military attacked the unsuspecting Navajo people and lead to their defeat.   The Navajos were escorted to Bosque Redondo, New Mexico.  Today, Navajo families make their homes, raise livestock, and farm the lands in the canyon.

Although Canyon de Chelly park responsibilities are administered by the National Park Service, the Navajo Tribal Trust Land is exclusive owners of the Navajo Nation and canyon community.  To visit the floor of the canyon, you must be escorted by a park ranger or official Navajo guide.  One place this regulation is not enforced is the White House Ruin Trail.  Canyon de Chelly’s most unique rock formation is known as Spider Rock.  This configuration is made of sandstone and is a 750 feet tall slender structure and can be seen for miles.  “According to traditional Navajo beliefs the taller of the two spires is the home of the Spider Grandmother.”

Canyon de Chelly

White House Ruins

Spider Rock

6 comments:

  1. How beautiful... how wonderful... that is truly one of my most favorite places to go (NE Arizona)... I need to see these places... I haven't been there yet.

    ~shoes~

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    1. I went there as a child but don't remember it much. I would love to see it again.

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  2. A sad tale, but a beautiful landscape. I would very much like to visit the canyon someday.

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    1. I want to see it again and take tons of photos.

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  3. A fascinating landscape and fascinating (and very sad) history. I have never been to this part of the US but would love to.

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    1. The landscape in that part of AZ is just amazing. It has a combo of interesting rock formations, canyons, and ruins.

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