Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Canyon de Chelly - Day One

We spent yesterday afternoon and this morning in Canyon de Chelly.  Talk about exceeding expectations!  We kept hearing about how beautiful it was - and it is.  If you're anywhere near the area, make the time and go there.  There are three over looks on the north rim, and seven on the south rim.  If I were really pressed for time, I'd go to the Spider Rock over look.  They're all amazing, there are no bad overlooks. 
Massacre Cave.  In 1805, 115 Navajo took refuge from the Spanish by climbing up on to a ledge above the canyon floor.  The Spaniards saw them, went to the rim and killed them all.
This is also where I discovered that the 45-200 mm lens was not a good choice for the camera, so there's only the one photo.  Don't worry, there will be many more.

Mummy Cave Ruin.  The ruin is one of the largest ancestral Puebloan villages in the canyon and was occupied to about 1300.  The east and west alcoves were living and ceremonial structures.  In the 1280s people who migrated from Mesa Verde built the tower that rests on the central ledge.

The central ledge.

The two alcoves and the central tower are on the left.  The alcoves are in the shadows.

Antelope House Ruins.  Excavated in the 1970s, the site has an unusual circular plaza.  It was built in the 1300s.

You can sort of see the circular features in this tighter crop of the photo.

Spider Rock Overlook.    The Spider Rock turnoff is about 10 miles from the visitor's center, and then there is a fair drive to the parking lot.  I think this was our favorite overlook. It's worth the drive.  It's an 800 foot spire rising from the canyon floor at the junction of Canyon de Chelly and Monument Canyon.  The surrounding area is just sublime.

Sliding House Overlook.    We couldn't figure out where the sliding house was.  However, it's a beautiful overlook.

Pool of water on the way back to the truck.

One needs to be careful while driving in the area.  There is no fence between this horse and the truck.  We also saw sheep crossing the road.

It was just spectacular.  By the end of the afternoon we were once again reduced to superlatives such as "holy crapoli look at that."
Day two will follow soon.


  1. Thats exactly what we thought when we were there. Just incredible.

  2. It looks gorgeous! Kind of a Mesa Verde/Grand Canyon mash up.