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[photo] White House Ruin (above), Canyon de Chelly National Monument
National Park Service photoFred Mang, Jr., (above) NPS Digital Archives (below)[photo]

Canyon de Chelly National Monument (pronounced "canyon d'shay"), contains over 2500 archeological sites ranging from 1500 B.C. to 1350 A.D. and is considered one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in North America. Among these sites are several hundred Anasazi Indian villages built between 350 and 1300 A.D. After 1100 the Anasazi built dramatic masonry cliff dwellings in caves and recesses in the canyon walls. The Anasazi began to vacate the canyons about 1300 A.D. The area was sporadically occupied until the early 1700s when the Navajo Indians began settling in the canyons. Today, Canyon de Chelly sits in the middle of the Navajo Indian Reservation and is still home to many Navajo who live in and utilize the canyon's resources. Notable sites are White House Ruin, one of the best known and most dramatic of the Anasazi cliff dwellings; Mummy Cave, a large cliff dwelling with a 3-story tower occupied from 300 to 1300 A.D.; and Antelope House, named for its many colorful paintings of antelope.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, administered by the National Park Service, is three miles east of Chinle, Arizona, off US 191 on Arizona Rte. 7. Except for a self-guiding trail from the White House Overlook to the White House Ruin, all visitors must be accompanied by a park ranger or an authorized guide. The Visitors Center is open daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm, October to April; and 8:00am to 6:00pm, May to September. Please call 928-674-5500, or visit the park's website for further information.


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