Canyon de Chelly is entirely owned by the Navajo Tribal Trust of the Navajo Nation. It is the only National Park Service unit that is owned and cooperatively managed in this manner. The monument covers 83,840 acres (131.0 sq mi) and encompasses the floors and rims of the three major canyons: de Chelly, del Muerto, and Monument. These canyons were cut by streams with headwaters in the Chuska Mountains just to the east of the monument. Access to the canyon floor is restricted and visitors are allowed to travel in the canyons only when accompanied by a park ranger or an authorized Navajo guide. The only exception to this rule is the White House Ruin Trail.
In 2009 Canyon de Chelly National Monument was recognized as one of the most-visited national monuments in the United States.
The park’s distinctive geologic feature, Spider Rock, is a sandstone spire that rises 750 feet (229 m) from the canyon floor at the junction of Canyon de Chelly and Monument Canyon. Spider Rock can be seen from South Rim Drive. It has served as the scene of a number of television commercials.
Most park visitors arrive by automobile and view Canyon de Chelly from the rim, following both North Rim Drive and South Rim Drive. Ancient ruins and geologic structures are visible, but in the distance, from turnoffs on each of these routes. Deep within the park is Mummy Cave. It features structures that have been built at various times in history. Private Navajo-owned companies offer tours of the canyon floor by horseback, hiking or 4-wheel drive vehicle. The companies can be contacted directly for prices and arrangements. There is no entrance fee to enter the park, apart from any charges imposed by tour companies.
Accommodations for visitors are located in the vicinity of the canyon, on the road leading to Chinle, which is the nearest town.