Top 10 Budget-friendly Things to do in Chinle, Arizona (AZ)

November 29, 2021 Vivienne Hutton

Chinle (Navajo: Chʼínílį́) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Apache County, Arizona. The name in Navajo means "flowing out" and is a reference to the location where the water flows out of the Canyon de Chelly. The population was 4,518 at the 2010 census.
Restaurants in Chinle

1. Canyon del Muerto

Chinle, AZ
Excellent
83%
Good
17%
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5.0 based on 63 reviews

Canyon del Muerto

This "Canyon of the Dead" is where the remains of prehistoric Indian burials were discovered in 1882.

2. White House Ruins Trail

Chinle, AZ +1 928-674-5500 http://www.nps.gov/cach/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm
Excellent
81%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
2%
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5.0 based on 340 reviews

White House Ruins Trail

A self-guided 2.5-mile hiking trail in Canyon de Chelly.

Reviewed By ktraveler2 - Carefree, United States

My cousin and I headed out to the White House trail. We are 2 senior ladies who walk a lot but don’t really hike. Standing at the top I was nervous if we could do it but off we went!! You definitely want to bring water. There are nice benches along the way and we played a game that at every bench we took a sip of water. You go through two rock tunnels!! Much of the trail is on sand stone so it’s not slippery and gives you a sure footed feel. It’s not hard at all. My cousin even thought coming up was easier. It took us about an hour and a half round trip. This was my third trip to the beautiful Canyon de Chelly and won’t be my last. But every future visit will include this beautiful trail.

3. Spider Rock

Chinle, AZ +1 928-674-5500 http://www.nps.gov/cach/index.htm
Excellent
86%
Good
13%
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5.0 based on 358 reviews

Spider Rock

A dramatic 800-foot monolith that was formed more than 230 million years ago.

Reviewed By RichardR1672

I was working for the State of Az in an official capacity back in 1977 and my team was sent to Chinle for an investigation.. While there I had befriended some of the Navajos and asked if I could go to see Spider Rock aka 'Shaking Rock' and Canyon de Chelly. A couple Navajo Indians were willing to take me everywhere I wanted.....back in those days it was a lot less restricted as to where you could venture. It took a while to get to Spider Rock....the 'road' if you call it that was a nightmare to navigate. I recall standing at the very base of Spider Rock and looking up....it was marvelous. Part of the movie "McKenna's Gold was filmed right there in that valley with Spider Rock. The 2 Navajos with me recall seeing some of the actors ---especially Gregory Peck in town ( Chinle ) and some were "extras" in the movie. Some of the elder Navajos still believed in the 'old ways' and lived in the valley. They built and lived in structures called 'Hogans'...very small and round structures made from Adobe. ...the 2 with me also told me strongly if I wanted to take pics of the older Navajos living in the valley to ALWAYS ASK them 1st if ok to take their pic...why?...some elder Navajos felt if you took their pic you had captured their soul!...so I asked and a few did wave me off or said no, yet I got some good pics of some. Some did not speak English and the 2 with me acted as interpreters. I also got a very private tour of parts of Canyon de Chelley that were forbidden to the general public. Back in the 1970's it was not known much nationally as it is today, however when they did the movie scenes there some Navajos were against it and some welcomed it. The elders felt part of their land was sacred and did not want outsiders coming...others felt it would bring tourists to spend money in Chinle which was badly needed. Overall back then, some liked the white man and some did not...yet the ones I met were pretty nice...just a couple rude ones only. Again, this is some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen and got to see some sacred areas where no one else will...that's a shame. In some of their more sacred areas that I was granted permission to visit...an elder chanted words to protect me and there was a feeling about some of those spots that I still cannot explain today...very strange...like I was among spirits or something. I do not know how much of the area and the people have changed now over 43 yrs ago when I was there. It was much more unrestricted then than now I am quite sure. If you want to see raw nature beauty you have got to go there if in that area......also the Petrified Forest is not all that far from there...that is a must see as well.....good luck and enjoy all of it...you will be most glad you went....by the way the box below only gave me just a few date/year choices of when I visited...no dates to choose that are over a year old, so I just chose Sept 2019...because it will not let me post my comments here if I did not put in something...but I was there in 1977.

4. Beauty Way Jeep Tours

Excellent
90%
Good
6%
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5.0 based on 548 reviews

Beauty Way Jeep Tours

Beauty Way Jeep Tours formally known as De Chelly Tours offers Half Day and All Day Vehicle tours into Canyon De Chelly National Monument. Ya'at'eeh (hello) to all our family and friends! We are all thrilled to announce that this summer marks our 25th Anniversary as an established tour company in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona!! As a young man, my great grandfather, Chauncey Neboyia, first led groups of archeologist and others into the canyon, and eventually helped it to become a National Monument in 1931. Over the next few decades he would teach his children and grandchildren about the history, stories, and traditions of the canyons, and it was here where my father, Daniel Staley (grandson of Chauncey) picked up his vast knowledge of the canyons and all its wonders. Chauncey first led groups by foot, horse and wagon, then over the years Daniel started adding 4x4 vehicles and established "De Chelly Tours" as the first Navajo-owned tour business in Canyon de Chelly in 1989. We are the longest running Navajo family-owned and operated tour company in Canyon de Chelly that offers 4x4 tours, hiking and camping. We are so very happy and proud of our family's legacy and I feel completely honored to be the one to continue the family business and take it to new levels and share our beautiful home with you all. I feel like I learn something new about the canyon all the time and I hope to someday have as much knowledge of the canyon as my father and great grandfather.

5. Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Highway 191, Chinle, AZ 86503 +1 928-674-5500 http://www.nps.gov/cach/planyourvisit/index.htm
Excellent
78%
Good
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Satisfactory
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Poor
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4.5 based on 1,866 reviews

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Red cliff and canyon walls that are home to ancient Indian ruins.

Reviewed By 44dave56 - Placitas, United States

On the way to hike some slot canyons in Utah, I stopped by this National Monument near the New Mexico/Arizona border in the 4 corners region and discover the 2nd largest canyon system in the US and more historic Native American Dwellings. Plenty of overlooks for free and tours available for a fee to take you further into the Canyon and learn its history. Certainly worth wondering off the beaten path.

6. South Rim Drive

Chinle, AZ +1 928-674-5500 http://www.nps.gov/cach/index.htm
Excellent
76%
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4.5 based on 336 reviews

South Rim Drive

A scenic and dramatic 36-mile drive along the 500-foot rim of Canyon de Chelly.

Reviewed By WC-Travelers-75

We spent a day on the South Rim. We did the White House Trail Hike as well as all the Overlooks. Great Views from Overlooks of Sliding House Ruins as well as some other minor ruins you can see if you spend the time to look. White House Ruin is a great way to get a hike in and a close-up of the ruins not requiring a Dine' guide. Probably do not want to do the hike on a hot day unless in great shape. Highly Recommended!!!

7. North Rim Drive

Chinle, AZ https://www.nps.gov/cach/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm
Excellent
63%
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4.5 based on 141 reviews

North Rim Drive

A scenic drive through the Canyon de Chelly.

Reviewed By WC-Travelers-75

We did the North Rim Drive in early May. We had the Massacre Cave and Mummy Cave Overlooks to ourselves around 8:30. At Antelope House Overlook, we had some company but not crowded. Bought some native jewelry at the Antelope House Overlook as gifts. The early morning sun light was perfect for viewing and taking pictures at Massacre Cave Overlook and Antelope House Ruins. Mummy Cave was in deep shadows in the morning. Probably best to shoot late in the day. We spent 3-1/2 hours including travel time from Chinle. Highly recommended!!!

8. White House Overlook

Chinle, AZ +1 928-674-5500 http://www.nps.gov/cach/index.htm
Excellent
72%
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4.5 based on 95 reviews

White House Overlook

Scenic stop along the South Rim Drive in Canyon de Chelly.

Reviewed By Craig-World-Travelle - Agoura Hills, United States

Beautiful view of White House ruins, especially if you have a zoom lens on your camera to get close up photos. If not, bring binoculars if you have them. I would love to hike the trail on next visit.

9. White House Ruin

Chinle, AZ +1 928-674-5500 http://www.nps.gov/cach/index.htm
Excellent
73%
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4.5 based on 153 reviews

White House Ruin

Site where the Anastazis lived in Canyon de Chelly 700 to 800 years ago before they vanished.

10. Antelope House Ruin

Chinle, AZ
Excellent
75%
Good
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Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 61 reviews

Antelope House Ruin

Anastazi ruins located in Canyon de Chelly.

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