This hidden gem of a canyon in eastern Arizona was unkown to me until a family member suggested that we check it out on our way from Ship Rock to Petrified Forest. I didn’t know if we’d have enough time to properly explore it (we didn’t) but it worked with our itinerary and we thought it’d be fun to see, if only briefly.
Incidentally, it’s pronounced like Shea… Canyon de Chelly (Shea).
Although things started off a little sketch (we passed a couple of guys on the side of the highway that looked as though they’d just discovered the wonders of methamphetamine), we made it to the campground after dark and settled in. Howling dogs and coyotes mixed with police sirens made it difficult for us to sleep in the main campground, so I suggest that future visitors look further into the canyon area for accommodations.
The canyon itself did not disappoint! An easy drive along the rim of the canyon offers up some amazing views. The most fascinating thing about this particular canyon is that folks live at the bottom of it, cultivating crops and raising animals.
Next time we go, we’ll be sure to look into a jeep tour of the area, and we’ll also catch the various landmarks that we didn’t have time to see. But if you’re in the area, I highly recommend at least a brief stop to one of the more unknown sights in Arizona’s Navajo Nation.