Spider Woman's Home

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Navajo Nation, Arizona

On our recent southwestern trip, we headed out of Monument Valley for a full day of driving to Albuquerque, New Mexico. We had planned to stop at Canyon de Chelly National Monument in northeastern Arizona but there were really high winds and visibility was almost nonexistent. As we reached the town of Chinle, we decided to stop at the canyon anyway. Amazingly, the wind seemed to stop and we were able to drive the full length of the south rim. For those who have never visited this National Monument, it is a majestic canyon lined with towering red sandstone. It is unique in that it is owned by the Navajo Tribal Trust Land and is administered by the National Park Service. The highlight of the canyon is Spider Rock which can be seen at the very last lookout on South Rim Drive. Spider Rock is actually twin 800-foot towers isolated from the canyon walls. Navajos believe this is the home of the Spider Woman, who taught Navajos how to weave and also devoured disobedient children. It is said that the white caps of the towers are children's bones.