Canyon de Chelly

I didn't really do any birding today. Nonetheless, I couldn't ignore the Black-throated Gray Warbler in the pinyon-juniper area around the canyon, nor the White-throated Swifts flying in and above the canyon, nor even the calling Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. I also couldn't ignore all the Common Ravens.

I spent much of the morning on the North Rim (Canyon del Muerto), came back to Chinle for lunch, and spent the afternoon on the South Rim (Canyon de Chelly). Well, not all of the afternoon was on the rim. There's a trail down from the rim to the canyon bottom 600 feet below that gives a much closer look at the White House Ruins. Of course I took the trail!

It's hard to describe how beautiful the canyon is, and as you descend the trail, it changes as you head downward. The trail starts by going through a tunnel, followed by a series of switchbacks. The view is terrific all the way down, but if you're bothered by exposure, this is not a trail for you. There's a second tunnel near the bottom. Once you're on the canyon floor, you cross a bridge and walk downstream a bit to find the White House Ruins above you. I spent about 15 minutes at the end of the trail, then headed back up. The sign says the round trip takes two hours, but it took me more like 1:45, including the 15 minute sojurn at the bottom.

I ended the day photographing Spider Rock, then returned to the hotel.

So far, I have found 124 bird species and 10 mammal species during the trip.

Best Western Canyon d'Chelly, Chinle, AZ