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A Wonder in Navajo Nation

By Linda Tancs

Arizona’s Canyon de Chelly National Monument was authorized in 1931 by President Herbert Hoover to preserve important archaeological resources that span more than 4,000 years of indigenous occupation, longer than anyone has lived uninterrupted anywhere on the Colorado Plateau. The monument encompasses approximately 84,000 acres of land located entirely on the Navajo Nation with roughly 40 families residing within the park boundaries. It’s prized for its colorful sheer cliffs, sporting scenery like ancient Pueblo cliff dwellings (called the White House ruins due to a white band across the nearby cliffs) and the 800-foot sandstone spire known as Spider Rock. One of the best ways to experience these and other features is to drive along the north and south rims along the canyons, each offering several overlook points. Also, a wide range of free ranger-led programs are available between May and September, including talks and guided hikes into the canyons.

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