Canyon De Chelly National Monument

Canyon De Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly Lodge Offers "Magical History Tour"

February 19, 2010, 12:25 pm

The Thunderbird Lodge in Canyon de Chelly National Monument is offering a “Magical History Tour,” travel package that offers a way for visitors to learn about the magical canyon’s 2,000 years of human existence and to take in the canyon’s breathtaking and rugged landscape.
 
Available March 1 through Oct. 31, 2010, the Magical History Tour features two nights in the historic Thunderbird Lodge – the only lodging available within the national monument – continental breakfast for two each morning, a 10 percent discount in the gift shop, a canyon tour for two people and a copy of a DVD called “Canyon de Chelly: American History, Heritage and Tradition.” The two-night package with a half-day tour is priced at $386.85 and the package price for two nights with a full-day tour is $450.60. The rates are for two people based on double occupancy. Additional persons in the same room may be added for $59.50 for the half-day tour option and $91.50 for the full-day tour option.
 
Thunderbird Lodge is also offering the “Up and Comer” package throughout the month of April 2010. For $185, two people sharing a “de Chelly” room receive accommodations and two half-day tours either the afternoon of arrival or the morning of departure.
 
The half- and full-day tours are conducted in comfortable six-wheel drive vehicles driven by knowledgeable Navajo guides. The half-day tours take visitors into the lower halves of Canyon de Chelly and Canyon del Muerto, the two canyons which comprise Canyon de Chelly National Monument. The full-day tour travels on a 60-mile route through Canyon del Muerto to Mummy Cave and Canyon de Chelly to Spider Rock. The tours stop frequently so guides can provide details of the canyon’s remarkable history and point out some of the prehistoric dwelling sites – including cliff dwellings precariously situated on the rock walls – as well as petroglyphs and pictographs etched and painted onto rocks throughout the park.
 
One of the most sobering stops on the full-day tour is at the Massacre Cave Overlook. The cave received its name after more than 105 Navajos were killed at the site in an all-day battle to defend their land from encroaching Spanish settlers.
 
Located on the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona, Canyon de Chelly is jointly operated by the Navajo Nation and the National Park Service. The monument is home to about 80 Navajo families who continue to live and farm in the canyon.  With the exception of only one short hiking trail, visitors to the monument are permitted into the canyon only in the company of an authorized Navajo guide.
 
Thunderbird Lodge provides group tours and is the only lodging facility within Canyon de Chelly. The lodge is located on the site of a trading post – now part of the Thunderbird Lodge dining facility – that was built around the turn of the 20th century.
 
Thunderbird Lodge is open year-round. For reservations, call 1-800-679-2473.