Despite its spectacular setting and rich history, some still overlook Canyon de Chelly National Monument when considering a trip into the National Park System. During the month of April the operators of the Thunderbird Lodge hope discounted rates will entice you to visit.
As a result of the monument and the town of Chinle, Arizona, recently being tagged as one of the top five "up-and-coming" travel destinations in the country, the lodge is offering the Up and Comer package.
The package is available throughout April and includes accommodations in a “de Chelly” room and two half-day tours either the afternoon of arrival or the morning of departure.
Rates for the package are $185 based upon double occupancy and represent a savings of more than 13 percent. For reservations, call 1-800-679-2473 or 1-928-674-5841.
“Those of us who live and work here know what a special place Canyon de Chelly is,” said hotel manager Rosanda Bahe. “It is exciting that other people are learning about our fascinating geology and history.”
The 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 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.
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.