Canyon de Chelly National Monument

March 13, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

The second stop during the 2011 mancation was to Chinle Arizona, home of Canyon de Chelly National Monument.  We did a great little hike down into the canyon to check out the White House Ruins.  The hike descended 600 feet along switchbacks and through tunnels along the very steep canyon wall, and ended at these spectacular Indian ruins built right in to the canyon wall.  The ingenuity of these people was amazing and I kept wondering how did they get up there to build it?  How did they travel in and out of their community perched part way up a solid rock vertical wall?  Incredible!

White House Ruins OverlookWhite House Ruins Overlook Along the White House Ruins TrailAlong the White House Ruins Trail

White House RuinsWhite House Ruins

Also at Canyon de Chelly (pronounced SHAY) is a famous rock formation called Spider Rock, an 800 foot tall spire of rock standing like a sentinel over the river that carved the canyon.  According to Navajo lore, Spider Woman made her home at the top of the rock formation.

"Spider Woman is considered an important deity in the Navajo culture. According to their creation story, when the Navajo people found their way here from the underworld, she gave power to those who destroyed the evil creatures that roamed this land. In addition, she's been responsible for protecting peaceful men who have found themselves in danger from others. In one story, a young Navajo was hunting in de Chelly when an enemy warrior began pursuing him. Chased deeper and deeper into the canyon, the hunter had run out of options until he saw a silk-like cord drop down the side of Spider Rock. He tied it around his waist, and with the help of Spider Woman, the young man escaped to the top, where he was allowed to stay until it was safe." -- Courtesy of Weird Arizona

Spider Rock in Canyon de ChellySpider Rock in Canyon de Chelly

Thank you for reading!


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