Navajo Clown from opposite Thunderbird Lodge, Chinle

Central Navajo Nation Mini-Directory &
Travel Information

Chinle, Canyon De Chelly and Adjacent Areas

UpdatedJuly 3, 2013

Guided Tours of the Canyon and the Area

Typically full and half-day tours may be available during the Summer, while half-day tours are run in the Fall, Winter and Spring when the Canyon is open. Tours vary from escorted tours of the rim drives to driving along the canyon's floors, or going by horseback. Some services offer overnight trips into the Canyons.
(The Park Superintendent may choose to close the Canyon after times of heavy rains. Since the wash beds are the highways into the Monument, high water hinders travel.) There has been little consistancy to closures due to eratic weather patterns.

The following guide services offer more personalized service and work with those who may require more individual attention. They both accomodate individual, small, and large group needs. Both have websites with detailed information. Both are local companies.

Area Restaurants and Accommodations

All Telephones are in the 928 area code


Hotels, Campgrounds, Bed & Breakfasts, and RV Spaces

hotel graphic


Best Western
Canyon DeChelly Inn

  • Junction Restaurant
  • Sauna
  • Heated Indoor Pool
  • Hot Tub
  • DSL Internet Access
  • Gift Shop
  • Accepts Pets

(928) 674-5288/5875

Chinle Holiday Inn
Dining and Salad Bar on the site of the old Garcia's Trading Post.

(928) 674-5000

ThunderbirdSacred Canyon Lodge

Sacred Canyon Lodge Website 1-800-679=2473

The Sacred Canyon Lodge, the renamed Thunderbird Lodge, is the oldest tourist accomodation at Canyon De Chelly. It is located near the Canyon's mouth, amid the cottowwoods. Excellent service, a large campus-like environment, gift shop-trading post and cafeteria make this a place to visit even if you don't stay here. Started by trader George Day over one hundred years ago, when he accepted guests into bungalows constructed around his trading post, which now houses a modern cafeteria and kitchen.  The Lodge often offers evening presentations in front of the gift shop by Park Service Rangers, local performers and story tellers.



National Park Service NO FEE facility. Ninety-six sites for tents, camp trailers and motor homes. Water and bathrooms, but no RV hookups.
In a shady grove of tall cottonwood trees near the visitor center and canyon mouth. No reservations required or taken for groups of less than fifteen.
Group sites accomodate up to fifty people.

A privately owned campground eight miles east of the visitor center on the south rim drive. It is on the rim of of Canyon DeChelly on the way to Spider Rock.

Located on the Diné College campus in Tsailé, it is economical and practical. Singles and four bedroom suites with a common bath are available. It is amid pines and juniper trees near Tsaile Lake at the upper reaches of Canyon DeChelly National Monument. Phone (928) 724-6830.


Places to Eat


Fast Food


Books, Jewelry and Souvenir

Money Matters

24 hour Banking Machine in Lobby
Money Orders

Auto Supplies, Gasoline and Tires

Creature Comforts

Law Enforcement/ Public Safety

The Navajo Nation is served by many authorities. The Navajo Police, the Apache County Sherrif, and the
Arizona Highway Patrol,as well as the National Park Service Rangers may be encountered on roadways.

Churches and
Religious Organizations

Health Care

  • Chinle Indian Health Service Hospital and Emergency Room
    The Bureau of Indian Affairs Hospital is located on a mesa, overlooking the town of Chinle.
    In the event of an accident requiring medical care, Emergenciy Services will transport to this location.
    This 90 bed facility has a full Emergency Room and provides ambulance service to the surrounding region.

    Note: This Bureau of Indian Affair Hospital's primary mission is to serve the Navajo People, however, because of the distance between medical facilities,
    if in your opinion, travel would be hazardous or risky, because of your or another's medical condition, You may/must declare the need for emergency care
    at the Chinle hospital Emergency Room.
    If you see the need for emergency services, you or the patient will be seen.
    Once admitted and stabilized, if further hospitalization is required, you will transported either to Ganado, or an off Reservation facility of your choice.

    Fishing and Camping

    Note: In the summer of 2000, both lakes are extremely low after four years of drought and almost no snow. Both lakes are well below "normal" capacity.

    Behind Dine' College at the intersection of Navajo Route Seven and the Lukachukai-Window Rock road, it was constructed as a flood control dam at the head of Canyon Del Muerto. Ask at the gas station, where you can get your license, for directions. Approximately 270 Acres in surface, camping is allowed by permit along the shore. No facilities or improved campsites. Remember to bring your own firewood. Quality of fishing varies from fair to outstanding. Fishing from shore is impeded by heavy weeds. Fly fishing with nymphs, small spoons, and lead bodied, sonic spinners (1/4 oz black and red Panther Martins) work well if you are not into fishing with Powerbait or corn. Mostly Cut-throat, Rainbow and Brook trout with a few catfish. Both lakes have abundant forage in the form of snails and crawdads, which most fish gorge on.
    • Wheatfields Lake
    Approximately 275 acre lake near the New Mexico-Arizona border. Camping in improved campsites in the Douglas Fir forest. Boat launch ramp; electric motors only. Picnic tables and fireboxes along west shore. Same fish types as Tsaile lake, plus an abundance of crawfish. Great place to watch the osprey fish. Surrounded by high mesas. Small general store on north side of dam. Lake usually supports ice fishing during the winter months. The same baits that work at Tsailé, work here too. The fish seem to like diversity, so I do carry a variety. Southbend's Super Dupers and the Z-ray are alternatives worth having.

    This group of lakes is reached by taking the Crystal road to US 666. They are remote and not heavily fished. The scenery is so great that it is hard to mind if the fish don't bite!
    Warning: Do not wade without shoes in any of the preceding lakes. Most have broken glass bottles imbedded in silt of their bottoms in unexpected places.The sharp edges can, and will, if given the opportunity, slice open an unprotected foot. The frigid water can so numb the feet that the injury can go un-noticed until you leave the water!

    Fed year around by the cold clear outlet waters from large dams, both sites have a deserved respect as premium trout waters. Guides are available and suggested until you learn the lay of the land. Both states have unique rules on boat size, fish lengths and limits.

    Big trout, striped bass, catfish and great scenery. Three hours to the north at Page. Several Marinas with boat and houseboat rentals. Off-season discounts are common. Tour the dam and view the interior turbine galleries.

    Warm Water Fishing

    Irrigation supply for the Many Farms area. Thirteen feet deep at best. Wind keeps it churned up, so there is limited visibility. Cats take stink baits and bass can be had with surface lures under the trees that overhang the shore. Boat ramp. Not limit on motors.

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