Welcome to our community - the gateway to Canyon de Chelly National Monument!
The Navajo people call this area Ch'ini'li which means "where the water flows out" to describe the location of the water flowing out from Canyon de Chelly. The Chinle community is situated in the center of the Navajo Nation and was established after the Navajo people returned from the Long Walk when thousands of Navajos were forced from their homes to march over 300 miles to Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. After the Treaty of 1868 was signed, Navajos returned to their homelands and many families came back to this area.
Missions, schools, and trading posts were established to help Navajos adjust to a new way of life. Chinle became a major trading center with the canyon attracting visitors from around the world. Thunderbird Lodge was the first trading post, Lady of Fatima Catholic Church was the first mission and Chinle Boarding School was the first school. Canyon de Chelly became a national monument under the National Park Service in 1931.
We welcome visitors from far and near who come to see the breathtaking views of the canyon or come to seek the services provided in Chinle. Read more about our community.