After the White Pocket Fiasco, we headed toward home and the last stop on our Arizona Adventure: Canyon de Chelly, near Chinle, in eastern Arizona.
As with some other locations on this trip, I had visited Canyon de Chelly once before, in 2013. You can read about it by clicking here.
The canyon is a U.S. National Monument owned by the Navajo Tribal Trust and jointly administered by the Trust and the National Park Service. As a result, all trips into the canyon must be with a licensed Native American guide. So Alan and I made arrangements with one of the tour companies to get into the canyon early in the morning . . . and this time the guide showed up on time!
Travel in the canyon consists mostly of driving on a very sandy stream bed that, when we were there in October, was completely dry.
So it requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle . . . or a horse. We chose the Jeep.
The height of the canyon walls ranges from 30 or 40 feet at the entrance to almost 1,000 feet further in to the canyon.
The walls themselves display beautiful naturally sculpted patterns, textures, and colors . . .
There is evidence of human habitation in the canyon dating back 5,000 years. There are hundreds of petroglyphs and pictographs on the walls of the canyon . . .
. . . and 3,000 archaeological sites, including at least a dozen significant structures built into the walls of the canyon.
The most notable of these cliff dwellings is White House, which is the image you see at the top of this post. I didn't get to see White House on my visit in 2013, so I was excited to see it this trip. Here's a closer view of the buildings:
The White House ruins were made famous by the photographer, Ansel Adams, whose 1942 photograph is an iconic image of the American west. You can see it by clicking here.
But Ansel Adams wasn't the first to visit the ruins. If you look carefully at the wall behind the buildings in front, you can see names and dates scratched into the wall, including (among many others) J. W. Conway from Santa Fe who defaced the wall on September 24, 1873.
Now, fences and tour guides keep all visitors a safe distance away from this magnificent ruin.
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That wraps up our Arizona Adventure. I hope you enjoyed the views and the stories. Thanks for coming along!
If you would like to see larger format versions of the Canyon de Chelly images, please visit my photography website, Todos Juntos Photography, by clicking here.