- Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Canyon de Chelly National MonumentIUCN Category III (Natural Monument)
Canyon de Chelly, 1904, by Edward S. Curtis
Location Apache County, Arizona, USA Nearest city Chinle Coordinates Coordinates:  Area 83,840 acres (33,929 ha) Created April 1, 1931 Visitors 827,247 (in 2010) Governing body Bureau of Indian Affairs NRHP Reference#: 70000066 Added to NRHP: August 25, 1970
Canyon de Chelly National Monument ( // də·shā′) was established on April 1, 1931 as a unit of the National Park Service. It is located in northeastern Arizona within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation. Reflecting one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America, it preserves ruins of the early indigenous tribes that lived in the area, including the Ancient Pueblo Peoples (also called Anasazi) and Navajo. The monument covers 83,840 acres (131.0 sq mi; 339.3 km2) and encompasses the floors and rims of the three major canyons: de Chelly, del Muerto, and Monument. These canyons were cut by streams with headwaters in the Chuska mountains just to the east of the monument. None of the land is federally owned.
The name chelly (or Chelley) is a Spanish borrowing of the Navajo word Tséyiʼ, which means "canyon" (literally "inside the rock" < tsé "rock" + -yiʼ "inside of, within"). The Navajo pronunciation is [tséɣiʔ]. The Spanish pronunciation of de Chelly [deˈtʃeʎi] was adapted into English, apparently through modelling after a French-like spelling pronunciation, and now English pronunciation: // də·shā′.
Canyon de Chelly is unique among National Park service units, as it consists entirely of Navajo Tribal Trust Land which remains in the ownership of the Navajo Nation and is home to the canyon community, while park matters are administered by the National Park Service. Access to the canyon floor is restricted, and visitors are allowed to travel in the canyons only when accompanied by a park ranger or an authorized Navajo guide. The only exception to this rule is the White House Ruin Trail.
Most park visitors arrive by automobile and view Canyon de Chelly from the rim, following both North Rim Drive and South Rim Drive. Ancient ruins and geologic structures are visible, but in the distance, from turnoffs on each of these routes. Deep within the park is Mummy Cave. It features structures that have been built at various times in history. Tours of the canyon floor can be booked at the visitor center and at lodgings in the vicinity of the canyon. There is no fee to enter the canyon, apart from any charges imposed by tour guides.
Accommodations for visitors are located in the vicinity of the canyon, on the road leading to Chinle, which is the nearest town.
The park's distinctive geologic feature, Spider Rock, is a sandstone spire that rises 800 feet (240 m) from the canyon floor at the junction of Canyon de Chelly and Monument Canyon. Spider Rock can be seen from South Rim Drive. It has served as the scene of a number of television commercials. According to traditional Navajo beliefs the taller of the two spires is the home of Spider Grandmother.
- ^ "Canyon de Chelly National Monument". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=gnispq:3:::NO::P3_FID:44981. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
- ^ "Listing of acreage as of 12/31/2010". Public Use Statistic Office, National Park Service. http://www.nature.nps.gov/stats/Acreage/acrebypark10cy.pdf. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
- ^ "Five Year Annual Recreation Visits Report". Public Use Statistic Office, National Park Service. http://www.nature.nps.gov/stats/viewReport.cfm?selectedReport=SystemComparisonReport.cfm. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
- ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html.
- ^ "The National Parks: Index 2009–2011". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/nps/nps/part2.htm#cach. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
- ^ Brugge, David M.; Wilson, Raymond (1976). Administrative History: Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. National Park Service.
- ^ Egan, Timothy (June 16, 2011). "The Best Unknown Park in America". New York Times. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/the-best-unknown-park-in-america/.
- ^ Tobert, Natalie; Pitt, Fiona (1994). Taylor, Colin F.. ed. Native American Myths and Legends. Salamander books ltd. p. 35. ISBN 0861017536.
- Grant, Campbell (1983). Canyon de Chelly: Its People and Rock Art. University of Arizona Press. ISBN 0-8165-0523-3.
- "Canyon de Chelly National Monument". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/cach/index.htm. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
- "Canyon de Chelly National Monument". Geology Fieldnotes. National Park Service. http://www2.nature.nps.gov/geology/parks/cach/index.cfm. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
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