A Witness To Ancient History: 10 Best Things To Do In Chinle, AZ

things to do in chinle arizona
| 6 min read

Chinle, Arizona is a slice of history, awaiting your discovery. With its authentic ancient ruins, breathtaking natural landscape, and Native American heritage, culture abounds in this town, delicately tucked in Apache County. Rest by the lake, explore the depths of the local caves, and take dynamic tours by jeep and foot, all the while admiring this town’s testament to untouched wildlife!

1. Ancient Canyon Private Tours

Ancient native american petroglyph
Source: Needpix

Take premium tours through some of the nation’s top ruins, local canyons, and wildlife with Ancient Canyon Tours! Check out the wide variety of artifacts left behind by generations long past, expertly preserved for your education and enjoyment. What once belonged to the Ancient Pueblo Peoples, indigenously referred to as the Anasazi, is now privately available for your viewing pleasure. These locations are also highly prized by Native Americans, for their history as well as their religious importance, with regard to the proximity to their ancestors. Catch the best of sites like White House, Spider Rock, Mummy Cave, and more with Ancient Canyon Private Tours, widely regarded by both locals and visitors alike, as the absolute best touring service that this area offers!

Ancient Canyon Private Tours

Address: Chinle, AZ 86503

Website: Ancient Canyon Private Tours

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2. Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly White House Ruin Close View 2006 09 07
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Andreas F. Borchert used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Your date with recorded history only gets better when you visit the Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Inhabited by vibrant life for over 5,000 years, the longest period of uninterrupted existence than any other point along the Colorado Plateau, this venue is now open for visitation and enjoyment in accordance with the National Park Service, to ensure its continued maintenance and upkeep. In some areas, Navajo families still call the Canyon de Chelly home, choosing to raise families and livestock alike, along its walls. Check out the awe-inspiring sight which is your panoramic backyard, or book a tour with a park ranger, for a more personal look at everything the area has to offer. This family-friendly venue also has a bevy of activities to keep your children busy, from the dynamic Junior Ranger Program to the full school group treatment. Get a taste for life long ago, when you book your visit to the Canyon de Chelly National Monument!

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Address: P.O. Box 588, Chinle, AZ 86503

Website: Canyon de Chelly National Monument

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3. Beauty Way Jeep Tours

Jeep tours
Source: Pixabay

This close-knit family business, owned and operated by Navajos since its inception, over 60 years ago, continually provides up close and personal encounters with all of the rich history that makes Chinle, Arizona such a special place. This business also provides hiking and camping tours and specializes in the delivery of engaging, exciting jeep tours of the immediate surrounding areas. Beauty Way Jeep Tours pay homage to the region’s Native American roots and do well to make the history come alive, before your eyes. Guides can also answer any and all questions you may have at any point during the tour, and embody Navajo tradition with regard to respect for the land. Their clients include well-established professors and photographers, and with their competitive touring rates, it’s now easier than ever to capitalize on Beauty Way Jeep Tours, a purely good time!

Beauty Way Jeep Tours

Address: Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Indian Rte 7, Chinle, AZ 86503

Website: Beauty Way Jeep Tours

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4. Wheatfields Lake

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Slow life down to a comfortable pace at Wheatfields Lake, where the skies overhead are overshadowed by the sheer panoramic majesty of your immediate natural surroundings. Take in uninterrupted views of the mountain landscapes, and be sure to get your fair share of recreational exercise in, as well! Also, make sure that you take advantage of their diversified, exclusive fishing opportunities: rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and brown trout, all swim just below the surface of the lake, and when you try your hand at fly fishing or baitcasting, you never know what you’ll pull in at the end of your line! Cast your line from anywhere surrounding the lake, to take in the fantastic sights around you. Whether you’re looking to hike a gorgeous landscape, catch dinner, or discover a new venue for relaxation, we encourage you to check out Wheatfields Lake, where enjoyment is only a step away.

Wheatfields Lake

Address: Wheatfields Lake, Arizona 86556

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5. Mummy Cave

Mummy Cave Overlook, Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re looking to delve deeper into life in the area, as ancient civilizations would have sustained it, or if you’re simply looking to get out of the heat and into the shade, you’ll want to check out Mummy Cave. Catch a glimpse of the cave from the overlook, located at the eastern end of North Rim Drive, or head there on foot for a closer look at life as it used to be. The well-preserved canyon homes were occupied by indigenous Pueblo peoples until roughly 1300, and today they can be viewed, photographed, and enjoyed by all who frequent the park. Accessible via any one of the canyon’s well-priced guided tours, Mummy cave has a lot to offer even the general passerby, both in terms of aesthetic beauty and in inherent historical importance. Make sure that your next visit to Chinle, Arizona isn’t booked without a reserved visit to Mummy Cave, and get an idea as to life as the ancients would have known it!

Mummy Cave

Address: Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chinle, AZ 86503

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6. Twin Trails Tours

Spider Rock
Source: Photo by Flickr user faungg's photos used under CC BY-ND 2.0

This privately owned touring business is open seven days a week and dedicated to the professional presentation of the best that Chinle, Arizona canyons have to offer! The ruins of this historical canyon have much to offer even the general passerby - imagine how much greater the experience will be when your private tour allows you unlimited access to everything the canyon has to offer! Timothy Halwood, the owner of Twin Trails Tours and a local native to the area, is well versed in the lore of the canyon and has long since perfected the perfect tour, well worth your time and effort. From Mummy Cave to Spider Rock and the Junction and Antelope Ruins, the intricacies of this gorgeous canyon venue await you, when you take advantage of Twin Trails Tours, featuring the best of the Chinle, Arizona ruins, presented by canyon experts!

Twin Trails Tours

Address: Chinle, AZ 86503

Website: Twin Trails Tours

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7. White House Ruins

Canyon de Chelly White House Ruin
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user James Lundeen used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Perhaps the most exquisite ruins in all of Chinle, the White House ruins allow you to come face to face with the full brunt of authentic history. Witness ancient Pueblo livelihood as few have ever seen it, and make sue to bring your camera, because this really is the chance of a lifetime, one you’re going to want to remember for years to come. Lightly-colored sands give way to extensive ruins, delicately tucked under an outcrop and hidden from what would have proven often volatile weather. Come find out why these ruins have stood the test of time, and become the newest admirer of ancient architecture, at the White House ruins!

White House Ruins

Address: Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chinle, AZ 86503

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8. Hope Arch

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

A certified testament to the sheer beauty found in Chinle, the Hope Arch exhibits a span of sixty-five feet (19.8 meters) and at its vertical opening, at peak height, stands seventy feet (21.3 meters). Note that travel to the site may be limited, given the fact that you will be traversing through sacred Native American land, however, when allowed, the trip is well worth it. Photographers, sightseers, and locals alike, flock to the site during seasons of mild weather, in order to witness one of life’s unofficial monuments to the world’s potential. Get your visitors permit and make sure that the Hope Arch is on your essential to-do list, the next time you decide to visit Chinle, Arizona. The experience will provide you with a sight you won’t want to forget!

Hope Arch

Address: Chinle, AZ 86503

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9. Navajo Paintbrush, LLC

View of a Navajo Indian maiden on a pony in front of a hogan, ca.1901 (CHS-3236)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pierce, C.C. , 18... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

If you’re looking to make the most of your visit to Chinle, Arizona, by educating yourself on the minutiae of Native American culture, you’ll find a worthwhile experience at Navajo Paintbrush, LLC. This local, Navajo owned and operated company, exists with the intention to educate locals and visitors alike, as to the beauty and intricacies of local heritage. Through introductions to traditional foods, artwork, interactive dance, and more, you will be fully immersed in the Navajo experience. The opportunity is completely free of charge - if you provide Navajo Paintbrush, LLC with your time, they can promise a dynamic, educational experience, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced!

Navajo Paintbrush, LLC

Address: Indian Rte 8066, Chinle, AZ 86503

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10. Totsonii Ranch

Horseback riding
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lucag used under CC BY-SA 2.5

This full-immersion Chinle experience promises to introduce visitors to the complete extent of Chinle activity. From participation in local activities to tours of the ranch and the surrounding natural structures, Totsonii Ranch allows those who visit its grounds to become part of the experience. This venue also offers a diversified variety of horseback riding opportunities, for riders of all ages and skill levels. If you’re looking to experience breathtaking views from the convenience of horseback, put the top-notch services of Totsonii Ranch to work for you!

Totsonii Ranch

Address: Rte 7, Chinle, AZ 86503

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Culture and nature

You’re sure to find the right combination of culture and nature, here in Chinle. Arizona truly isn’t complete without its ruins, caves, arches and ranches, and once you frequent the sites, you’ll realize how much you’ve been missing! Keep things light and educational when you visit Chinle, Arizona, a witness to the past and gateway to a bright future.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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John Gallagher is a digital marketing consultant and writer from San Diego, California. When he isn't thoroughly enjoying the writing process or pretending he thoroughly enjoys the revision...Read more

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