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Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Canyon de Chelly National Monument


Park Entrance

As a non-fee area, Canyon de Chelly National Monument does not collect fees for park entrance or the campground. The park does, however, appreciate donations that can be dropped in the donation boxes located inside the visitor center and at the campground entrance. No reservations or registration is required for the campground.

No fee, permit or Navajo guide are required to drive the North and South Rim Drives or hike the White House Trail. The scenic drives feature overlooks that provide excellent views of the canyon below. The White House Trail is the only public trail in the park.

Other fees -- Canyon Tours

Tours through the bottom of the canyon are arranged with independent tour companies or with an authorized tour guide. Tours by vehicle, horseback or hiking are generally available year round, but may be restricted due to hazardous conditions or for the protection of park resources.

Fees vary for the kind of tours available. Arrangements can be made directly with the independent company or guide. Reservations are recommended.


Scenic Drives

From the Visitor Center, two paved rim drives lead to several overlooks that provide excellent views of the canyon below. Allow 2 hours on each side to visit 3 overlooks on the North Rim Drive and 7 overlooks on the South Rim Drive.

Self-guided hike

About 6 miles from the Visitor Center, there is one public trail to hike at the White House Ruin Overlook. Allow 2 hours round trip to hike about 600 feet down the switchback trail to the White House Ruin. No pets are allowed on the trail.

Ranger led programs

Ranger led activities, including hikes, are generally offered from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Check at the Visitor Center for schedule of summer activities.

Canyon Tours

Canyon de Chelly National Monument is unlike any other national park in that the canyons are within the Navajo Nation and include a residential community. Canyon residents have shared their homelands to visitors long before the monument was established in 1931, but not all areas are open to the general public. Visiting this special place can include a self guided drive along the North and South Rim Drives that feature several overlooks and one hiking trail open all year round. Guided tours of the backcountry areas that are not open to the public are available by hiring an authorized guide and obtaining a backcountry permit. Arrangements for tours are made directly with an independent authorized guide or tour operator.

Tours into the canyon can be arranged directly with the tour companies or with an authorized guide listed.

Companies provide tours by vehicle, horseback or hiking using their own vehicles or horses. Independent authorized guides can be hired for hiking or tours using YOUR 4-wheel drive vehicle. Reservations made in advance are suggested. Backcountry permits are free and available only during regular business hours from the Visitor Center. The group leader and private guide are required to sign the permit in person acknowledging the park regulations. The entire group is responsible for abiding by the regulations set forth by the National Park Service. Important points to remember are no pets are permitted on tours even if using your own vehicle; groups must stay together; and entry is not permitted into any archeological site. Guides are not employees of the park, but are authorized by the National Park Service to provide commercial services. All arrangements including fees are to be made directly with your guide and not the National Park Service. Canyon tours are required to have: One guide per 5 vehicles; one guide per 6 horseback riders; one guide per 15 hikers. Large groups of 16 or more people may need to request a Special Use Permit (see SPECIAL REQUESTS).

Check the official National Park Service Website (see link further below) for information on tour guide companies and their websites.


The Visitor Center is 3 miles (4.8 km) from Route 191 in Chinle, AZ.
From Flagstaff, AZ, take I-40 East then Hwy 191 North.
From Gallup, NM, take Hwy 264 West then Hwy 191 North.
From Kayenta, AZ, take Route 59 Southeast then Hwy 191 South.


GPS Coordinates

1 --
Decimal Lat: 36.15248863 / Lon: -109.556778



Document Information
Source: NPS; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20100305
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