2. Spider Rock
Canyon de Chelly, Arizona
Few folks would know that President Hoover authorized Canyon de Chelly as a national monument in 1931. Despite being a lesser-known monument, it’s one of the most visited in the U.S., and one of the most stunning areas in the Four Corners region. It lies within the Navajo Nation and is home to breathtaking archaeological sites of those who lived there, from Ancestral Puebloans to the Navajo. Within the monument stands Spider Rock, an 800-plus-foot red rock monolith. The spire and the land that surrounds it is a sacred place in the Navajo religion, and is home to Na’ashje’ii Asdzaa, Spider Woman. Oral tradition says that she would catch and eat disobedient children and also taught her people the art of weaving. It’s a must-see for any desert traveler.
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