— Canyon de Chelly National Monument is a scenic wonder. In addition to the breathtaking views, though, this National Park Service (NPS) unit has other singular distinctions. For example, the NPS works together with the Navajo Nation in the administration of the area. Also, and perhaps most important, as stated in the park’s website, people have lived in this area for over 5,000 years. That is the longest and uninterrupted living area anywhere on the Colorado Plateau. In the present, there are still Navajo families living, raising cattle and farming in the same location. To visit the White House Ruin, one can hike to the area. It’s a 3-mile (4.8 km) roundtrip hike to the bottom of the canyon or you can contract with Navajo guides to explore the canyon via a Jeep tour. We did the latter and spent the day on the canyon floor. It’s a memorable way to see the canyon from the ground up and learn its history. A lot of the same structures can be seen from the scenic drive to the overlooks along the road above, but being in the canyon gives you a completely different perspective and brings you up close with these people’s living practices. Canyon de Chelly National Monument was established a unit of the NPS on April 1, 1931. Be sure to check out Spider Rock, also on this site.
Taken: 8 June, 2010
Focal length: 17.4mm
Location: 36° 7.9248′ 0″ N 109° 28.6112′ 0″ W
Shutter speed: 1/400s