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Canyon de Chelly National Monument


Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Chinle, 86503 , AZ

An oft-missed gem of a national monument is Canyon de Chelly (pronounced “shay”), which is a beautiful canyon in northeastern Arizona, near New Mexico. There isn’t an entrance fee to visit the area, and two paved rim drives provide scenic, self-guided tour options. The North Rim Drive features three overlooks, while the South Rim Drive features seven. Both drives take about two hours. Tip: The park says the North Drive is best for morning photos and the South is best for afternoon photos.

A two-hour hike from the White House Overlook on the South Rim is available to the public. The trail descends 600 feet to the White House Ruin and back up a switchback trail. The overlooks afford fantastic views, although the Massacre Cave Overlook at the end of the North Rim Drive is a sad reminder of a battle that took place in this location.

A word of caution: the overlook parking lots display multiple signs to lock valuables, and there may be Native Americans selling art, jewelry and crafts near the overlooks. Most are not troublesome, but some can be pushy.

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