Canyon De Chelly

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Canyon de Chelly National Monument was established on April 1, 1931 as a unit of the National Park Service. It is located in northeastern Arizona within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation. Reflecting one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America, it preserves ruins of the early indigenous tribes that lived in the area, including the Ancient Pueblo Peoples (also called Anasazi) and Navajo. The monument covers 83,840 acres and encompasses the floors and rims of the three major canyons: de Chelly, del Muerto, and Monument. These canyons were cut by streams with headwaters in the Chuska mountains just to the east of the monument. None of the land is federally owned.

Canyon de Chelly long served as a home for Navajo people before it was invaded by forces led by future New Mexico governor Lt. Antonio Narbona in 1805. In 1863 Col. Kit Carson sent troops to either end of the canyon to defeat the Navajo population within. The resulting devastation led to the surrender of the Navajos and their removal to Bosque Redondo, New Mexico.

Visitors have claimed that they can hear the sounds of Indian warfare throughout “Massacre Cave” – a grisly remnant of the real-life Navajo slaughter that took place there.

If you've had a paranormal experience here, or have any additional information about this location, please let us know!

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    Geographic Information

    Canyon De Chelly
    Chinle, AZ 86556
    United States

    Get Directions »
    36.14253267131731, -109.33621217496693
    Apache County, Arizona
    Nearest Towns:
    Del Muerto, AZ (6.6 mi.)
    Chinle, AZ (12.1 mi.)
    Tsaile, AZ (13.0 mi.)
    Sehili, AZ (13.3 mi.)
    Nazlini, AZ (18.1 mi.)
    Sawmill, AZ (19.1 mi.)
    Lukachukai, AZ (19.9 mi.)
    Many Farms, AZ (21.4 mi.)
    Crystal, NM (21.7 mi.)
    Navajo, NM (23.8 mi.)


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    1. The first time I went to Canyon de Chelley, I went to 3 or 4 overlooks on the north rim. Each and every time I stepped out of my vehicle, I had overwhelming feelings of despair…and death. It made me feel horrible and didn’t know why I was feeling that way. I drove over to the south rim and I had feelings of safety and relief at the overlooks. That night I pitched my tent in the campground with my dog, Pilar. I was sitting at the picnic table by lantern writing in my journal when Pilar tugged on her leash, which was wrapped around my wrist, and pulled me towards the car. I called her back and petted her to calm her down. She said beside me again as I journaled, all of a sudden she took off and tugged me towards the car again. I told her, yes I feel the same way, we are sleeping in the car tonight. I swore never to return there because of how it made me feel. About 4 years later, I was going on a bird watching/camping trip with a couple other ladies in southeast AZ then on to Taos, NM. One of them wanted to go to Canyon de Chelley and I immediately said NO. I then thought about facing that fear and offered that we hire a guide to climb into the canyon, camp in the canyon then climb out the next day. So that is what we did. Our guide and I were sitting by the fire in the canyon when I asked what the history of the canyon was. He said the north rim is called Canyon del Muerto and the south rim is Canyon de Chelley. I had never realized these were two different canyons. He said that Kit Carson and his men massacred the Navajo living in the canyon to the north and some of those escaped into the canyon to the south. I said, oh this makes sense, so what is the deal with the campground and he said that is where Kit Carson’s men were buried. Once we climbed out of the canyon, we stayed at the campground and once again I could not sleep in my tent, I slept in the car. This story continues but it gets a lot longer with weirder things happening. BTW, I am a seasoned solo tent camper, hiker, paddler, backpacker. If I don’t feel right about staying someplace I don’t but it has only happened 3 or 4 times.

    2. Not a big “heeby jeeby” person but this experience shook me to my core. I was working on the Navajo Reservation and hiked on my day off and took an ill-advised detour over some barriers alone and took several pictures along the way. The beauty & quiet was stunning. I hiked along the south rim to the top of an edifice and could literally hear black birds wings flapping as I sat there. I took a few more pictures and found my way down to the canyon face between two edges and rebounded my way between them to get to the bottom (stupid I know without tying off). I headed north towards a pass and began to feel tremulous, angry, nauseous and as if someone was sighting me in with a rifle or something as I felt impending doom literally at any moment. I literally turned startled and ran back to where I came approximately a half mile, started a fire and slept. Upon awakening I reviewed my pictures and saw “abnormalities” in the photograph that the locals here tell me I was where I shouldn’t have been (no kidding). I got no other explanation. Any thoughts?

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