Canyon de Chelly Wilderness Solo
“Let the beauty we love, be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Rumi
Canyon de Chelly, Navajoland
October 8-13, 2023
$1,495 per person Register Now
Canyon de Chelly has been called “the heart and soul of Navajoland.” The second-largest canyon in the U.S. after the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly (pronounced “de shay”) is the only U.S. National Monument comprised entirely of Tribal Trust land.
With stunning, sheer, 1,000-foot cliffs, it is a unique Navajo (Diné) community for those who call the more than 50-mile-long canyon home. For the Diné, the Canyon also represents the home of the tribe’s holy spirits. It has been a site of pilgrimage and prayer, but also a site of pain, as “The Long Walk” of the Navajos across New Mexico began here in 1864. Camping in Canyon de Chelly is a rare opportunity. Non-Diné are not allowed in the canyon without a guide, and only a few dozen families have land rights in the canyon. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the land with them.
Our guides call the canyon the ‘womb’ of Navajoland. It is here that we will be able to explore both the Diné landscape and our own internal landscape, as we contemplate what we each are here on earth to accomplish. In the words of one of our guides, “thank you for visiting the canyon so it can stay alive for all of us.”
Our itinerary for the Canyon de Chelly wilderness solo:
- Oct 8: arrive in Chinle, AZ late afternoon, allowing for travel that day. (Note that the hotel cost for this night is not included in the price of the journey but we will make a group reservation at Thunderbird Lodge.)
- Oct 9: we’ll get our first views of the canyon as we hike down into it at Spring Canyon where we’ll camp for our journey; in the evening we’ll have a ceremonial talking circle to welcome us to the land and set our intentions.
- Oct 10: hike the canyon and explore options for personal solo sites; spend the afternoon finding a spot that speaks to you for your solo; create our group altar in the evening.
- Oct 11: depart in the morning for your personal solo site.
- Oct 12: return in the morning with drumming and smudging; sacred circle to share experiences; a celebratory meal.
- Oct 13: closing ceremony before we break down camp, if we have time, hike the Yei Bi Chei trail (or “trail of the gods”) with our Diné guides — truly unlike any other hike you’ll ever do; stop at the famed White House Ruins to see how the ancient ones lived centuries ago; drive out of the canyon late afternoon.
To register, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to register online. We do have generous scholarships for our wilderness solo journeys, including this one, so if cost is an issue please don’t let it get in the way of joining us.
Two Bonuses! Once you sign up for this journey we’ll send you a pre-journey email with suggested readings and thought-provoking questions to get you ready for our time together. A month before the journey we’ll gather together on Zoom to prepare for the wilderness solo.
Thank you for helping us support our Diné guides so they can continue with their mission to share this powerful landscape with others. A portion of your fees also go to support our efforts to protect the Southwest’s wild areas.
For more details and an FAQ about the journeys, click here.
Cheryl, Carol Curry forwarded your info to me. My husband and I are very interested in the Canyon de Chelly trip. Would like to know when the dates are set. Thank you, Mary
Great Mary! If you could send me your email at cheryl (@) leadfeather.org I will be in touch with date ideas as it gets closer. Happy to answer any questions you might have in the meantime. Thanks, Cheryl