Magical History Tour
Canyon de Chelly National Monument
The Thunderbird Lodge in Canyon de Chelly National Monument announces the “Magical History Tour” available March 1 through October 31, 2009. The two-night package offers a way for visitors to learn about this magical canyon’s 2,000 years of human existence and to take in the canyon’s incredible landscape.
The “Magical History Tour” two nights lodging at the historic Thunderbird Lodge, continental breakfast for two each morning, a canyon tour for two, a copy of a DVD called “Canyon de Chelly: American History, Heritage and Tradition” and a 10 percent discount in the gift shop. Choose either a full-day or half-day tour. The package cost including the full-day tour is $415, cost with the half-day tour is $363. Rates are for two people based on double occupancy.
Tours are led by knowledgeable Navajo guides driving six-wheel drive vehicles. 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 a 60-mile route through Canyon del Muerto to Mummy Cave and through Canyon de Chelly to Spider Rock. The tours stop frequently so guides can provide details of the canyon’s fascinating history and point out prehistoric dwelling sites 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 hiking trail, Visitors to the monument are permitted into the canyon only in the company of an authorized Navajo guide with the exception of one hiking trail.
Thunderbird Lodge provides group tours and is the only lodging facility within Canyon de Chelly National Monument. The lodge is located on the site of a trading post built around the turn of the 20th century.
When You Go: Thunderbird Lodge is open year-round. The “Magical History Tour” is available March 1 through October 31, 2009.