Canyon de Chelly National Monument is in the process of modifying the backcountry permit system in order to comply with Navajo Nation and Federal standards. More detailed information will be requested on newly revised permits later this season in order to efficiently maintain the backcountry permits. The revised permits will continue to be manually processed; however, the permits will eventually be automated using a reservation system that is standard nationwide for land management agencies. The park is required to revise this current system in order to better track visitor use within the park and ensure protection of the park's natural and cultural resources. The park recently distributed a letter regarding the system changes.
Currently, overnight camping requests for educational, large tour groups (6 or more people), horse tours utilizing privately-owned stock, and atypical requests, require the authorization of a Special Use Permit and park notification two weeks in advance to properly process. Additional information including an itinerary, list of participants, and a signed copy of permission for camping from the land lease-holder will be required. Horses coming from outside the Navajo Nation are required to have a series of vaccinations. Proof of these vaccinations is mandated by the park, the state of Arizona and the Navajo Nation in order to protect local livestock from the spread of disease. Implementation of all of these measures will ensure minimal impact on the environment, the safety of visitors, and the privacy of canyon residents. Applications for a Special Use Permit can be obtained from the park. You may obtain a copy the Interim Policies for Guided Horse Tour Services in Canyon de Chelly National Monument from the park.
To simplify this process and in order for the park to implement visitor use statistical data, permits will be issued from a central location; therefore, effective immediately, all permits will be issued from the Visitor Center during regular business hours.
Our goal is to create a uniform and standardized permit system consistent with those used throughout the National Park Service, state, tribal and other federal agencies. As the park moves forward with the General Management Planning process, your input will be greatly appreciated regarding the development of an efficient system. We appreciate your adherence to these current modifications.