Sunday, February 13, 2011

Canyon de Chelly Junction Overlook

 The Junction Overlook at Canyon de Chelly in northeast Arizona is the third overlook along the south rim drive. The view is toward the junction of the Canyon Del Muerto arm to the north and the Canyon de Chelly arm to the south.

The interpretive signs at the view point emphasize the geology of the canyon. The Shinarump Conglomerate on the surface was deposited 170 million years ago and the de Chelly sandstone that forms the sheer walls has been here for 230 million years. The floor layer is named the Supai Formation from 280 million years ago.
There are two Ancestral Pueblo Ruins sites visible from the Junction Overlook. To the left is First Ruins. It appears to be a fairly large site sitting well above the canyon floor.
To the right is the Junction Ruins also in an alcove above the canyon floor. The views of these two sites are from a long distance and binoculars are needed to see much. These two sites are more than 700 years old and were abandoned around 1300 AD for reasons that aren’t clear.

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