National Park Service

Southern Colorado Plateau Network (SCPN)

Canyon de Chelly National Monument (CACH)

White House Pueblo above Chinle Wash<br/>(SCPN photo) Tinaja (natural water catchment) along Twin Trails<br/>(SCPN photo) Riparian cottonwood tree gallery provides important bird habitat (SCPN photo) Collecting discharge data in Chinle Wash<br/>(SCPN photo) Pricklypear bloom<br/>(SCPN photo) Great blue heron<br/>(SCPN photo)  Aquatic macroinvertebrate monitoring at Tsaile Creek<br/>(SCPN photo) Summer green in the canyon<br/>(SCPN photo) Golden sedge grows near a spring<br/>(SCPN photo) Antelope House Pueblo<br/>(SCPN photo) Milkweed in bloom on the canyon rim<br/>(SCPN photo) Monitoring riparian vegetation along Tsaile Creek<br/>(SCPN photo) Black Rock Canyon<br/>(SCPN photo)s Desert varnish on sandstone wall<br/>(SCPN photo) Cliff dwelling site<br/>(SCPN photo) Hogan on canyon floor<br/>(SCPN photo)

Inventory Reports

Monitoring Project Summaries

Monitoring Reports

Monitoring Protocol Documents

University of Wyoming Logo
Park Flora (SEINet)
NPS Logo Official Canyon de Chelly NM Website
SCPN park map
Location of Canyon de Chelly NM in the Southern Colorado Plateau Network. Click for larger image.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument lies within Navajo Nation lands and encompasses 83,837 acres (33,928 hectares) in northeastern Arizona. It was designated in 1931 to protect prehistoric villages built between 350 and 1300 A.D., and is cooperatively managed by the Navajo Nation and the National Park Service.

Canyon de Chelly NM is comprised of four main canyons that drain the Chuska Mountains and the Defiance Plateau and extend from the monument's eastern edge on Defiance Plateau to Chinle Wash at its western edge.

Pinyon-juniper woodland and Colorado Plateau desert shrub communities are found at lower elevations and a transition zone of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) and Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) is located at higher elevations on the rim and in the Chuska Mountains.

Riparian vegetation is found on the canyon bottoms, and hanging gardens, an unusual community of plants, can be found on the cliff faces of canyons.

The monument supports 8 amphibian, 147 bird, 34 fish, 49 mammal, and 14 reptile species. Water resources include streams, both perennial and intermittent, 12 springs, and a perennial pond.

The Southern Colorado Plateau Network conducts long-term monitoring of a number of vital signs in Canyon de Chelly NM: water quality, springs, integrated riparian communities, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and bird communities.

Life Zones of Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly NM ranges in elevation from 5,533 to 7,662 feet (1,686-2,335 m) and spans the Semi-Desert Grassland/Shrub Steppe, Pinyon-Juniper Woodland, and Ponderosa Pine Forest life zones. It experiences an average annual precipitation of about 9 inches (225 mm).

Canyon de Chelly Life Zones

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Last Updated: January 23, 2018 Contact Webmaster