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.
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- Canyon De Chelly
Chinle, AZ 86556
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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