For thousands of years, Native Americans have called Tseyi’s canyons home. The rich soil and plentiful water provided and sustained life until the mid-1300’s. Hopi Natives migrated into the canyons but eventually left, moving westward. Residents of the canyon today call themselves Dine’, known more commonly by others as the Navajo Nation.
Last week our journey explored the northerly canyon views from the three overlooks along Indian Route 64. This week, we meander back along IR-64 past the visitor center and turn southeast along Indian Route 7 to tour the seven viewpoints along the southern canyon.
If you have a couple of extra hours, hike the White House Trail to get some closer views of the ancient dwellings. Unfortunately, our time was limited on this trip so a hike will have to wait for our next visit. Even if you don’t have time for a hike, the views from the overlooks are spectacular. You will have plenty to see.
Water is plentiful in the canyon even in early December when these photos were taken. The monument, comprised of around 84,000 acres is managed jointly by the Navajo Nation and the National Park Service. Park information can be found at the National Park Service website here. When planning your trip, be mindful of recent weather. Seasonal flooding and runoff from snow melt can close roads or otherwise make parts of the area inaccessible. Travel in areas other than the main scenic drives must be accompanied by Navajo guides.
Only an hour and a half drive will take you to another iconic area that’s part of the Navajo Nation. Monument Valley straddles the Utah and Arizona border. There isn’t a western movie aficionado who won’t recognize the area made famous in motion pictures by John Ford and other Hollywood icons. The views featured in this gallery were taken along the southern route at Canyon de Chelly.