Canyon de Chelly

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Canyon de Chelly is located in northeastern Arizona on the lands of the Navajo Nation. This makes Canyon de Chelly unique in that its 84 thousand acres is located entirely on Navajo Tribal Trust Land and currently sustains a part of the larger Navajo community. Canyon de Chelly is in an environment that is unpredictable and often difficult with windy and breezy weather in the spring and winter and it is hot and dry in the summer.

Canyon de Chelly is a place of striking beauty and stark contrasts. Although beauty is said to be subjective it would be difficult for anyone to suggest that the colorful setting and broad vistas are not a thing of beauty. The deep, almost vertical canyons, contrast with the relatively flat plateau that surrounds them. The colors of the sandstone cliffs contrast with the greens of the trees and plants distributed sometimes sparsely on the floors and hills within the canyons.

Canyon de Chelly became is National Monument in 1931 in an effort to preserve the Cultural Resources extant in the area. The archaeological resources cover a time span of more than 4 thousand years into the past. Most striking are the interesting and unique cliff dwellings found throughout the area.

Canyon de Chelly impresses the visitor with its colorful landscapes and archaeological resources the remarkable preservation of many of the prehistoric buildings and their setting within the alcoves in the canyon walls formed by erosion. The contrast between geological time and cultural time intrigues the imagination and leaves the visitor with both questions and a sense of understanding of nature and humans places within it.

Photos Courtesy of the National Park Service.
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