White House Trail

Canyon De Chelly National Monument, Arizona 86503

Distance1.1mi
Elevation Gain809ft
Trailhead Elevation6,184ft
Top6,188ft
Elevation Min/Max5651/6188ft
Elevation Start/End6184/6184ft

White House Trail

White House Trail is a hiking trail in Apache County, Arizona. It is within Canyon De Chelly National Monument. It is 1.1 miles long and begins at 6,184 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 809 feet. The White House Overlook viewpoint is near the trailhead. There is also parking.

White House Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Like Navajo National Monument, Canyon de Chelly National Monument includes some well-preserved Ancestral Pueblo People cliff dwellings found within the Navajo Indian Nation.

Because of the fragile nature of the ruins, and to protect the privacy of the Navajo families who live here, hiking in Canyon de Chelly is permitted only when accompanied by a ranger or authorized Navajo guide. An exception to this rule is the short and pleasant hike to White House Ruin."

"The White House Trail offers hikers an amazing view of Canyon de Chelly and allows visitors a chance to experience what life was like several hundred years ago for the Puebloan people who inhabited the area. The 3-mile round-trip hike takes hikers from the canyon rim to the canyon floor to visit the White House Ruins and then back to the rim again."

"The White House Trail offers hikers an amazing view of Canyon de Chelly and allows visitors a chance to experience what life was like several hundred years ago for the Puebloan people who inhabited the area. The 3-mile round-trip route takes hikers from the canyon rim to the canyon floor to visit the White House Ruins, and then back to the rim again.

It took millions of years of land uplifts and water erosion to create Canyon de Chelly. Because of the constant water flow, rich soil has continued to make its way into the canyon and has allowed for productive croplands and grazing for animals. The Ancient Puebloans who originally settled in the canyon built pit houses, but eventually began to build their homes in the alcoves of the canyon walls to take advantage of the sunlight and natural protection. These people prospered until the mid-1300s; they eventually left the canyons to seek better farmlands."

"A pleasant, short day hike to one of the Southwest’s best-preserved cliff houses. This is the only trail that visitors can use in Canyon de Chelly National Monument without a local guide. The monument is unique in that most of the land is still Navajo Reservation with locals still living in the canyon. Guides are necessary in most parts of the canyon to protect the privacy of the residents. The trail at first crosses slickrock, paralleling the rim for 100 yards or so before turning sharply to drop off the rim.

Rock cairns and painted symbols on the sandstone mark the trail. Off the rim, the trail descends nearly 600 vertical feet in a series of sweeping, not too steep switchbacks. Wonderful close-up views of the distinctly cross-bedded de Chelly sandstone are possible. Try to imagine this rock as golden sand dunes piled up by strong desert winds some 270 million years ago. Later, over an almost unimaginable amount of time, these dunes were buried under other sediments and the sand grains became cemented into sandstone. More time passed, the region was uplifted, and erosion eventually exposed this layer. Relatively recently, Chinle Creek and its tributaries sliced down through this layer to create the intricate Canyon de Chelly complex."

White House Trail Reviews

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10/24/2009
Trail is short and quick. Going down is super easy. The climb up is harder but not exhausting. Awesome ruin at the bottom of a huge cliff.
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3/22/2008
This is a beautiful hike to one of the most famous and photogenic ruins in Arizona. Give yourself plenty of time to gaze at the ruins, you will not be able to tear your eyes away. An iconic image of the great Southwest. We hiked it in mid-afternoon, but I'm sure the lighting would be wonderful late in the day. There is a pit toilet at the site but no water, so be sure to bring some. We hiked this with our 6-year old and had no significant safety concerns, but there are a couple of spots where the trail is basically a ledge carved out of slickrock, need to take care there. At the top of the trail, do watch your young ones. We observed more than one small child race to the edge of the cliff, excited to get their first glimpse of this marvelous canyon. The canyon attracts lots of foreign visitors. Luckily no accidents this time, but as a mother my heart did a flip-flop!
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White House Trail Photos

Trail Information

Canyon De Chelly National Monument
Nearby City
Canyon De Chelly National Monument
Parks
Moderate
Skill Level
Canyon de Chelly National Monument, PO Box 588, Chinle, AZ 86503; (928) 674-5500; www .nps .gov/cach
Local Contacts
USGS Chinle AZ; park map and brochure available at the visitor center
Local Maps