Canyon De Chelly National Monument
Millions of years of land upheaval and water erosion created the colorful sheer cliff walls of Canyon de Chelly. Water sources and rich soil provided plants and animals that sustained families for thousands of years. The first settlers built pit houses that were replaced with more sophisticated homes as more families migrated to the area.
Homes were built in alcoves to take advantage of the sunlight and natural protection. People thrived until the mid-1300’s when the Puebloans left the canyons to seek better farmlands.
For nearly 5,000 years, people have lived in these canyons - longer than anyone has lived uninterrupted anywhere on the Colorado Plateau. In the place called Tseyi, their homes and images tell us their stories. Today, Navajo families live, raise livestock and farm these lands. The National Park Service and Navajo Nation actively work together to manage park resources.