Canyon de Chelly Trail

Chinle, Arizona

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Canyon de Chelly is one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring settings in Arizona. Part of its magic arises from the towering red sandstone walls and spires, the ancient ruins, and a sandy, winding trail; but Canyon de Chelly is more than just scenery. The Diné, as the Navajo people call themselves, continue to live in the canyon and the surrounding area, and the glimpse that we are allowed into their lives enhances an already special experience. Special Attractions: Optional 3-rated spur to Roof Butte Fire Lookout; Easy trail that travels along the picturesque Tsaile Creek; Tsaile Butte and the Tunitcha Mountains; Views of Shiprock from the north end of the trail; View golden aspen on the north end of the trail in early fall. High-clearance 4WDs are required. This trail has either a rough, rutted surface, rocks up to 9 inches, mud and deep sand that may be impassable for inexperienced drivers, or stream crossings up to 18 inches deep. Certain sections may be steep enough to cause traction problems, and you may encounter very narrow shelf roads with steep drop-offs and tight clearance between rocks or trees.

Canyon de Chelly Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Canyon de Chelly is one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring settings in Arizona. Part of its magic arises from the towering red sandstone walls and spires, the ancient ruins, and a sandy, winding trail; but Canyon de Chelly is more than just scenery. The Diné, as the Navajo people call themselves, continue to live in the canyon and the surrounding area, and the glimpse that we are allowed into their lives enhances an already special experience.

Special Attractions: Optional 3-rated spur to Roof Butte Fire Lookout; Easy trail that travels along the picturesque Tsaile Creek; Tsaile Butte and the Tunitcha Mountains; Views of Shiprock from the north end of the trail; View golden aspen on the north end of the trail in early fall. High-clearance 4WDs are required. This trail has either a rough, rutted surface, rocks up to 9 inches, mud and deep sand that may be impassable for inexperienced drivers, or stream crossings up to 18 inches deep. Certain sections may be steep enough to cause traction problems, and you may encounter very narrow shelf roads with steep drop-offs and tight clearance between rocks or trees."

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Chinle
Distance: 18
Trail Type: Several options
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: 3 hours
Season: May to October
Trailhead Elevation: 5,500 feet
Top Elevation: 6,200 feet
Local Contacts: Canyon de Chelley National Monument
Local Maps: USGS Chinle, Del Muerto, Three Turkey Canyon, Mummy Cave Ruins, Spider Rock, Canyon de Chelly; BLM Canyon de Chelly
Driving Directions: Directions to Canyon de Chelly Trail

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May 2018