Sunset Navajo Tribal Park Canyon De Chelly
Bob and Nadine Johnston
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The best vacation we ever had, was our trip to Canyon Ce Chelley, and the four corners, on the navajo reservation. Some call it an indian reservation, but today it is more like an Native American Nation. Included in the area of the Navajo Nation is the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, in which many, many movies have been made since the beginning of the Westerns,
Most think of it as a National Park, because it is operated by the National Park Service, but all the employees we have seen, were all Navajo, living on the Reservation.
Canyon de Chelly is unique among National Park service units, as it consists entirely of Navajo Tribal Trust Land which remains in the ownership of the Navajo Nation and is home to the canyon community, while park matters are administered by the National Park Service. Access to the canyon floor is restricted, and visitors are allowed to travel in the canyons only when accompanied by a park ranger or an authorized Navajo guide. The only exception to this rule is the White House Ruin Trail.
Most park visitors arrive by automobile and view Canyon de Chelly from the rim, following both North Rim Drive and South Rim Drive. Ancient ruins and geologic structures are visible, but in the distance, from turnoffs on each of these routes. Deep within the park is Mummy Cave. It features structures that have been built at various times in history. Tours of the canyon floor can be booked at the visitor center and at lodgings in the vicinity of the canyon. There is no fee to enter the canyon, apart from any charges imposed by tour guides.
Accommodations for visitors are located in the vicinity of the canyon, on the road leading to Chinle, which is the nearest town.
The National Monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 25, 1970.
January 4th, 2013
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