June 15, 2019, Chinle-
After a comfortable night in my tent, I spent the morning hiking White House Ruins Trail, the only unguided hike into Canyon de Chelly. The route takes one down to a properly fenced off ruin, with various formations, images and a working farm (no photographs allowed) along the way.
Without further ado, let the pictures speak for themselves. First, a couple of views from the overlook:
The trail starts flat, then quickly gets steep.
There are two tunnels along the trail. This is the smaller one.
The trail looks messy, but is actually well-maintained.
Some reinforcing has been needed, over the years.
The canyon is watching.
This verdancy allows many Dineh to farm here, at the Canyon’s bottom.
Caves abound-or they are watchmen?
Grey gypsum and turquoise are embedded in the sandstone, at this particular spot.
Here is the second tunnel.
Even ants need picnic benches.
Camellias add a nice touch to the canyon bottom.
This majestic tableau rises above the working farm I passed.
Chinle Wash is flowing mildly, but steadily.
After a leisurely hike, here they were: White House Ruin, built by Ancestral Puebloans, around 1060 A.D. and occupied continuously for 200 years afterward.
The walk back up was not at all hard, with a couple walking slightly ahead of me, and stopping for occasional conversation, then moving along for their own private reflections.
This was my fourth time hiking White House Trail ,and certainly the most well documented.
NEXT: The Road to Window Rock