According to the National Park Service documents the Canyon de Chelly contains over 2500 archeological sites dating from 1500 BC to 1350 AD.
Among these are numerous cliff dwellings dating from 1100, built by the Anasazi.
Today the canyon is located in the Navajo Nation. While you can tour the area from the rim, the best way to see and appreciate the area is to take a guided tour with one of the local Navajo guides, which is what we did.
Our tour guide Sylvia took us on a 3 hour jeep tour of much of the canyon. Having grown up in the canyon, she was a fantastic guide, pointing out not only the historic features of the cliff dwellings and the petroglyphs, she added insight into life in the canyon from a first person perspective (even showing us her cows!)
The White House ruins is one of the more famous, and most complete. While the walls of the canyon rise as high as 1000′ the deeper you go in, the walls here are around 500′ high.
After completing our tour of the canyon floor, we drove around both the north and south rim.
The most noteworthy view is Spider Rock, rising 800′ above the canyon floor. Named for the mythical lair of Spider Woman, it is a sacred Navajo place.
From above the views of the canyon floor is impressive.