|The circles you see in the foreground are caused by ant colonies.|
This valley, considered sacred by the Navajo, has been occupied for 5,000 years; settlers have left their mark in various ways.
|The black "varnish" streaking the canyon walls is caused with the minerals in the stone react with the weather.|
|Horses run free here.|
Before doing any driving, though, make sure you stop at the Visitor Center where a film will supply the history of Canyon De Chelly (d'SHAY), and rangers will answer your questions.
|Sacred Canyon Lodge, built on the site of an 1896 trading post, clusters several buildings around a central courtyard. The cafeteria was formerly the trading post itself.|
Stop by the visitor center to get a list of tour companies. Prices vary from $125-185 per couple for a half-day tour, but, if you can join a few other visitors, the price goes down to $100 per couple. We used Canyon Jeep Tours owned by Deswood Yazzie. Tel: (928)313-1020 Our guide, David Wilson, born and raised in the Canyon, as were his parents and grandparents, still farms there and raises horses. He was extraordinarily knowledgeable, having served as a consultant to several archaeologists, and went out of his way to make sure we appreciated this incredibly beautiful place.
|Our guide. Always ask permission before taking photo.|
Don't worry. There are porta-johns for visitors, and your guide will undoubtedly provide the opportunity for a visit.
The Navajo Nation follows daylight savings time unlike the rest of Arizona and the Hopi Reservation. Remember that during the summer this area will be one hour ahead of the rest of Arizona.
No liquor can be bought or sold in the Navajo Nation. If you will miss your evening glass of wine, be sure to bring it with you.
*A Holiday Inn and Best Western are right outside the Canyon boundaries.
|Four portajohns all in a row! Two for men and two for men.|