by Trip Advisor
There are over 2700 archaeological sites within the many
canyons of Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Only 13 of the
700 standing ruins have been stabilized, re-inforced, or
protected from degradation. We are professional Navajo guides
who can teach you the history of our canyons and about the
Anasazi, Hopi and Navajo peoples. We pride ourselves in
offering you more than just viewing our scenery - but we can
do this too!
Canyon de Chelly National Monument is located in the heartland of the great Navajo Nation.
Monument Valley, Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, Sedona, Lake Powell and the majestic Grand Canyon are just a
day's drive from us. Book a tour with us today!
Three Hour Tours
Basic three hour tour includes
Antelope House Ruin in Canyon Del Muerto and the White House Ruin in
Canyon de Chelly. The following ruins may be viewed on the tour:
This is only a partial listing of archeological sites on our 3 hour tour. Total distance traveled is 24 miles on the canyon floor.
Departure is from the Visitors Center parking lot.
- Kokopelli Cave
- Petroglyph Rock
- First Ruin
- Junction Ruin
- Ceremonial Cave
- Ledge Ruin
- Antelope House Ruin
- White House Ruin
*** We highly recommend a minimum of a 4 hour private tour (see tour rates below).
Extended Tours, Overnight Trips
Day tours lasting six to seven hours are available. The most common are the following three, but we will tailor a trip to meet your individual needs. We can accommodate individual tours, as well as small and large groups.
Consulting and Lectures
- Mummy Cave, Antelope House Ruin and Navajo Fortress
tour travels almost the full length of Canyon Del Muerto.
Mummy Cave is a partially restored Anasazi apartment complex
constructed under an arching overhang in the weathered sandstone.
At Antelope house colored drawings of antelope created at the
beginning of the last century are side by side with creations of
the Anasazi. Canyon walls at Antelope House Ruin arch into the canyon
over the stream bed below. Further up the Canyon are farms,
orchards and field still farmed by the current residents. The
round trip exceeds thirty miles.
- White House Ruins and Spider Rock
exploration of Canyon de Chelly travels to the base of the
towering 800 feet monolith of Spider Rock, where canyon walls rise
to well over 1000 feet. Many ruins are along the way in the lower
canyons. The round trip exceeds thirty-two miles.
- Conducted Rim Tours
For those unable to journey
into the canyons, much of its beauty and significant sites can be
seen from the many viewpoints along the two major roads that
parallel two canyons.
- Ventana Mesa and Painted Cave Tours (Outside tours of Canyon de Chelly National Monument / 3-6 hour tours)
These seldom visited locations have unique geology,
windows, arches and pictographs/petroglyphs in addition to plentiful ruins
Painted Cave Ruin
- Overnight Trips & Storytelling (Large Groups Only).
Individuals and Large Groups wishing to stay overnight in Canyon de Chelly can do so
with advanced reservations. We can assemble a package for you
and/or your group that includes traditional foods and an evening's
worth of tales told by a master story-teller that will be the
highlight of your stay.
Overnight camping? 1-3 individuals is approximately $700. This
would be approximately 24 hours on the canyon floor. You provide your own food and camping gear.
- Conducted Bus Rim Tours
We contract with outside
tour companies who want to provide their guests with a
personalized tour of the overlooks for Canyon de Chelly along the
North and South Rim drives. We will step aboard in Chinle. We can
enhance your tour by providing your guests with an opportunity to
meet and talk with us, as well as gain an insight into our canyon
and its history and place in our lives.
- Cultural Consulting, Filmmaking and Lectures
and small groups desiring these services with an emphasis on the
Navajo people, their history and culture, and Canyon de Chelly may
be arranged as needed on a individual case by case basis.
Please contact us if you are seeking these services for
yourself or your group.
LARGE BUS GROUPS
Due to changes in the National Park Service policy, there is a limit on the amount of tours
authorized to enter the canyon daily. We can break the tours up into 2 groups by leaving at 9AM and 1PM (Mountain Standard Time).
There is a limit of authorized tour operators operating within the Canyon de Chelly National Monument due to this decision.
All cash tours are payable to Irene Becenti (Tour Manager, 928-349-1391) at the time of the tour.
And all scheduled tours must meet Irene INSIDE the Visitors Center to obtain a Backcountry Permit to legally enter the canyon. The permit is free, and you are only paying for the tour.
All tours depart from the Visitors Center parking lot at the mouth of the canyon.
CASH RATES FOR PRIVATE TOURS MORE THAN 3 HOURS, PLEASE CALL 928-349-1600 or 928-349-1391 FOR TOUR ARRANGEMENTS.
PLEASE NOTE: Online booking for private tours is for 3 hours only. For longer PRIVATE TOURS, please leave a comment in the COMMENTS section
with the number of hours you want to go and a travelling cell phone number. This note is for online booking for private tours longer than 3 hours only.
The National Park Service and The Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department now co-manage Canyon De Chelly National Monument and Canyon de Chelly Tribal Park.
Schedule & Rates
Rates are competitive with tour companies operating all state, tribal, and national monument tours in Northern Arizona.
Payment with Cash or Traveler's Checks receives a 10% discount!
Navajo Tribal Business Tax included.
ONLINE RESERVATIONS MUST BE PAID WITH A CREDIT CARD.
4 person minimum
(Ask for quote on added hours)
Daily from the
Visitors Center parking lot.
12 & Under
For more than 3 hours
pay additional hours
in cash to guide.
Our 4PM private tour is only a 3 hour tour due to sunset hours.
Online Booking For Private Tours is For 3 hours only. For longer tours leave a note in the COMMENTS section with the number of hours and your cell phone number.
1- 3 People
Overnight Campouts in the Canyon
Added Costs may incur for transporting camping gear in and out.
Landowner Fee $55.00
Guide Fee $55.00
Details by arrangement
Accompanied Bus Tours -
South Rim Drive & Overlooks
2 1/2 hours
2 Hours Min.
Pickup and return to Chinle airstrip is $30 per day.
A surcharge for increased fuel charges may be added to all tours using our vehicles, depending upon rising gasoline prices beyond our control.
Reservation Payment Policy: Partial credit card payment can be made at the time of the tour reservation and the balance can be paid on the day of the tour.
Cancellation Policy: A $75.00 cancellation fee will be charged to your credit card if you do not take the tour. The reason for the cancellation fee is that an authorized Navajo tour guide has been scheduled to pick you up with a company SUV.
(Four hour private tours or longer)
In planning your tour in advance, we highly recommend ordering our film titled,"Canyon De Chelly, Through Navajo Eyes", at least two weeks in advance, from Drumbeat Indian Arts.
Please ask for our film by name when contacting Drumbeat Indian Arts, 1-800-895-4859. The Canyon de Chelly National Monument Bookstore in Chinle also carries our film.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument is very beautiful during the summer and winter months. Our recommendation is to see the canyon during the late afternoon hours. You can do the south rim overlooks in the morning hours on your own. And/or hike the White House Ruin on your own without a Navajo guide (3 miles round trip). The canyon walls are 600 feet in height in that area.
Click here to view 3 film scenes from
"Canyon De Chelly, Through Navajo Eyes".
***PLEASE NOTE: All tours depart from the Visitors Center parking lot at the mouth of the canyon.
All scheduled tours must meet Irene Becenti INSIDE the Visitors Center to obtain a Backcountry Permit to legally enter the canyon. The permit is free, and you are only paying for the tour.
***PLEASE NOTE: Online booking for private tours is for 3 hours only. For longer PRIVATE TOURS, please leave a comment in the COMMENTS section
with the number of hours you want to go and a travelling cell phone number. This note is for online booking for private tours longer than 3 hours. **
Beginning in late September, our 4PM private tour is only a 3 hour tour due to sunset hours.
And beginning in October, our 1PM tour is highly recommended.
Canyon De Chelly Tours offers a variety of
vehicles engineered to make your visit enjoyable, memorable, and
- Group Tours
The smaller passenger capacity results in more personal attention for each passenger.
- Our Open Jeeps
These are specially designed jeeps
that have an enlarged passenger compartment and can carry up to 6
- Our Enclosed 4x4 SUVs
These are standard Jeeps with
no air conditioning. They are often requested in the summer by those
sensitive to heat, as well as being used in winter when the
temperatures drop below what is comfortable for touring exposed to
- No Tours allowed in your own S.U.V. (National Park Service Policy).
Canyon de Chelly has no
conventional roads. Sandy washes that are often the beds of flowing
streams serve as major thoroughfares. Un-maintained trails often cut
across wooded regions. Private S.U.V.'s should be in excellent
mechanical condition and not prone to overheating. High clearance is
a plus, since often you will travel through ruts created by another
concessionaires two and one-half ton trucks.
guides are essential. It is not unusual for a vehicle to be trapped
in the wet sand when water is flowing. This is caused when unseen
water flowing beneath the surface of the sand is forced up to the
surface when it meets an impenetrable rock formation. The upward
moving water suspends the sand grains and they no longer can support
weight, thus forming a pocket of what is commonly referred to as
"quick-sand". Extraction is costly.
Our "wet-season" usually runs
from February to May. Ice may coat the canyon floors from December
through February. In past years, the advent of winter often closed
the canyon to tourism. The weather in the last few winters however,
has been extremely mild. The canyon has remained open all year.
Inquire of the conditions before you depart .
thunderstorms may produce flooding although the rain is miles away
in the mountains. It is not unknown for the canyon bottom to go from
almost dry, to 4 feet deep, then again become driveable before the
day is over.
What to Bring This Winter
Canyon De Chelly Tours provides no water, consumables,
personal use items or perishables. In order to make your trip as
memorable and pleasant as possible, we recommend you bring the
(Winter clothing, including warm jackets, gloves, caps, and shoes)
Local tap water is tested and is pure and
safe to drink, however some guests prefer brand name bottled water,
which is available both in local area grocery and convenience
stores, as well as most motels.
For your trip into the
canyons, include an ample supply. One liter per person per hour is
not unreasonable in hot weather. Most resturants at your motels will
be willing to leave a bottle overnight in their freezer for you.
If you freeze one bottle, it can keep all your water cool as it
Bring your favorites. Area restaurants
will prepare sack lunches upon request. Use common sense. It gets
hot in the canyon during the summer, so chocolate bars can get
Three hours in an open vehicle can burn
almost everyone. Most people find it necessary to get the highest
rated sunblock they can find, then re-apply the lotion at least
once for good protection.
- A Straw Hat / Umbrella
Even with good sun screen,
visitors often get burned. If you are susceptible to sunburn, a
hat or umbrella can help. Sunglasses can help minimize the glare
off the white bottom sands.
General Purpose Binoculars from small
6x30's to 12x50's will enlighten your canyon experience by
bringing close the details on distant walls and in distant ruins
on rim and canyon tours. Just remember, the more powerful the
magnification, the more shaking will be amplified as well. Small
roof prism binoculars are available from Walmart at reasonible
prices. 8x30 or 7x35 are good general purpose instruments.
- Camera & Film
If you have neither a camera nor
video recorder, disposable cameras available at stores and gift
shops are a good investment. They are easy to use and require
absolutely no photographic skill to preserve mementos of your
visit, as long as you remember not to take photographs into the
sun! Digital cameras require mega-pixel imaging to produce
photographs with adequate detail. A zoom lens can help.
- Light Jacket
Inquire of your guide based on current
- Cash and/or Traveler's Cheques
You will have the
opportunity to purchase jewelry, rugs and crafts from Navajo
crafts people at the Antelope House Ruin and White House Ruin stops. Prices are substantially
less than marked up items in area stores. If you have a question
about the quality of an item, please contact your guide.
is also a food concession stand at Antelope House Ruin.
- For Our Smaller Guests...
Parents of small children
and infants need to provide their own infant or child seats that
can be secured with a seat belt. Also please bring your own
container for soiled diapers (Zip-lock bags are recommended) : Trash cans exist, but not at every
- Restroom facilities
Restroom facilities are available at Ledge Ruins, Antelope House Ruins, and White House Ruins only.
- NO PETS ALLOWED on canyon tours (National Park Service policy).
All Skyhorse Products Available Through|
Drumbeat Indian Arts
4143 N 16th Street,
Phoenix, AZ 85016
All products also available through
Cool Runnings Music
(St. Michaels, AZ)
When ordering Skyhorse products,
please ask for them by name.
Mail orders accepted.
Canyon De Chelly, Through Navajo Eyes
Canyon De Chelly, Through Navajo Eyes has 17 Speaking roles and 30 extras. (26:50 min.)
The short, historical re-enactments include the Anasazi, Hopi, Navajo, Spanish, and U.S. Government prescences.
This film utilizes Hopi, Navajo, and Spanish languages with English subtitles.
Leon Skyhorse Thomas wrote, produced, narrated, and directed this film, shot in 16mm film.
Click here to view 36 film images of this Docu-Drama
Click here to view 3 film clips
To hear the sample sound tracks below,
click on your selection and turn up your computer speakers
for your listening pleasure.
Primeaux and Skyhorse
(Thunder and Rain)
Native American Spiritual Healing songs (50 min.)
Sample 1: Memories (Love So Pure)
Sample 2: Calling In The Rain
Skyhorse - Lost Tapes
The two original songs were stored in a vault for 30 years.
Recorded in July of 1982
Sample 1: Rock Me, Love Me (3:20 min.)
Sample 2: Searching For A Fortune (3:55 min.)
"SKYHORSE: LEGENDS LIVE FOREVER"
Original framed oil painting for sale: Size 30" x 40"
Pictured from left to right: Narbona, Barboncito, Skyhorse,
Manuelito and Ganado Muncho.
Navajo Artist: Anonymous
The painting is on loan to the Navajo Nation Museum
in Window Rock, Arizona until 01/24/2015.
Contact Leon Skyhorse Thomas: (928) 349-1600
Coming in the fall of 2015!!!
Primeaux and Skyhorse CD: "Into The Storm"
Coming in the summer of 2015!!!
"People of the Fifth World"
(Book) Written by Leon Skyhorse Thomas
Unique Place to Stay in Chinle:
Sacred Canyon Lodge (formerly Thunderbird Lodge)
Sacred Canyon Lodge is a Navajo operated
National Monument concessionaire. When booking
your accommodations, please mention our company
by name. Thank you.
Overnight campground rates are determined by the
Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation Department,
and are payable on site at the small trailer.
** No hookups or showers available **
Campground fees payable on site at time of arrival.
HOLIDAY INN TOUR CUSTOMERS: IF YOU ARE APPROACHED|
BY OTHER INDIVIDUALS SOLICITING YOU FOR CANYON TOURS
ON THE HOLIDAY INN PROPERTY, PLEASE REPORT THE INCIDENT
TO HOLIDAY INN MANAGEMENT IMMEDIATELY.