Antelope House Overlook

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6336 - 6424 feet
Cellphone: 0-2 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Antelope House Overlook
Fee: none
Attractions: Cliff dwellings, pictographs




The Antelope House Overlook is along the North Rim Drive in the Canyon de Chelly National Monument near Chinle, Arizona. From the parking area the trail makes a loop around a broad point where the ruins of Antelope House and other smaller sites can be seen in the canyon below. Continuing around to a second overlook reveals a large island of towering sandstone at the junction of Del Muerto and Black Rock Canyons known as the Navajo Fortress.




Travel east on Indian Route 7 from Chinle, Arizona for 2.8 miles. Veer left onto Indian Route 64 along the North Rim Drive.


Measure 7 miles from the fork to the turnoff for the Antelope House Overlook. All of the turns are well marked but a map can also be obtained by stopping first at the Canyon de Chelly National Monument Visitor Center.


From the parking area follow the well marked trail toward the rim overlooking Black Rock Canyon. The trail forms a small loop which for this post we rounded in the counter-clockwise direction.


The first stop on the loop going in this direction is the Antelope House Overlook.


Antelope House is visible below where many standing walls still remain. The outline of several kivas along with the other rooms show similarities with the ruins at Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon. Antelope House was built by the Anasazi and predates the Navajoes arrival in Canyon de Chelly.


More ruins that are smaller in size can be seen across the canyon.


Pictographs can be seen painted high on the opposite wall of the canyon. They can be seen a little better by clicking on the picture and viewing the hi-res image. The images of antelope are what give the site its name.



The next overlook is above a fork in the canyon where Del Muerto Canyon (Canyon of the Dead), on the left, and Black Rock Canyon, on the right, come together.

A standing island of rock at the canyons junction once served as a Navajo fortress from which incursions by Spanish invaders were fought off. Using notched poles to create stairways the Navajo would position themselves where they could shoot down upon their enemies.


Even without all the various attractions like Antelope House Ruin, the canyons and the areas along the rims are easy to appreciate for their natural beauty.


Canyon de Chelly has a rich history with which visitors can become familiar with. The extra knowledge greatly enhances your time spent at the monument. Rather than just seeing the canyon and its ruins a person is also able to feel some of its past so when they leave they will take with them memories to reflect upon for years to come. The Antelope House Overlook, along with all the other stops along the North and South Rim Roads, are all pieces of the picture that make up Canyon de Chelly. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.