Canyon de Chelly, Navajoland
“Be still and the earth will speak to you.” Navajo proverb
Canyon de Chelly
Fall 2020 Dates TBD
$1,295 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, the canyon is a unique Navajo (Diné) community, for whom the more than 50-mile-long canyon is 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 the 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. Our Diné guides and their family have lived there for generations. We will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share their land with them.
Our guides call the canyon the ‘womb’ of Navajoland. It is here that we will be able to explore both the Navajo’s 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.”
For more details and an FAQ about the journeys, click here.
Our itinerary for the Canyon de Chelly journey:
- Day 1: depart ABQ and Santa Fe by noon, heading west toward Navajoland; we will stop for a hike and lunch at El Morro National Monument to take in the gorgeous views and arrive in Chinle late afternoon. (Note that the hotel cost for this night is not included in the price of the journey but that we will make a group reservation at the Sacred Canyon Lodge.)
- Day 2: we’ll get our first views of the canyon as we hike down into it via Bat Trail, from which we will hike to Spider Rock, where we will camp for our journey; in the evening have a ceremonial talking circle to welcome us to the land.
- Day 3: hike the slick rock to get as close to Spider Rock as one can; spend the afternoon in solo time, finding a spot that speaks to you; storytelling and singing in the evening.
- Day 4: 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; enjoy a traditional talking circle that evening.
- Day 5: closing ceremony before we break down camp and drive back to ABQ and Santa Fe.
To register, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to register online. You can also download our Journey Release Form and packing list and then you’ll be all set! We do have a handful of scholarships for the Canyon de Chelly Journey so if cost is an issue please don’t let it get in the way of joining us.
Three 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 or two after the journey we’ll gather together in an online video call to remember our experiences in nature. You’ll also then be able to join our past-participant video calls to welcome in each season. These are beautiful opportunities to reconnect to the wellspring of aliveness that exists in each of us, but often gets covered up with our day-to-day activities.
A portion of your fees go to support Lead Feather’s programs for Native American youth, helping them connect deeply to Mother Earth. Interested in helping more? Learn how.