Getting to Chinle
Best Routes by Land and Air
The best route may not be what first appears on your maps!
Central Navajo Nation
Air Travel Options
Several Charter Air Services link Chinle with airports served by major airlines. If you have a small plane, there are strips in Chinle and Window Rock. Some Navajo businesses are offering package tours that include air transportation from a major airport.
- 5000' Newly Paved N/S All weather Airstrip - There are NO lights at this time, not attendant. Apron for parking and windsock.
- Window Rock Airport
- All-weather airstrip, long enough for corporate jets of the "Navajo Air Force". Sixty miles from Canyon De Chelly.
- Gallup Airport
- Commercial and Private Airport, ninety miles distant. Served by Mesa Airlines from Phoenix. Rental vehicles available.
- Albuquerque International
- Four Hours Driving time. Full Services
- Flagstaff, Arizona
- Two and One Half Hours Driving Time. Air fare between Gallup and Phoenix may be comparable. Full Services. Can drive through Hopi Mesas, or by Meteor Crater on way to Chinle, or stop in Flagstaff and spend a day seeing the Grand Canyon, ninety miles north.
- Farmington, New Mexico
- Two and one half to three hours driving time. Full services and rental cars. Drive through Shiprock and follow U.S. 160.
- Sky Harbor Airport, Phoenix, Arizona
- International airport. Heavy commercial traffic. Private pilots might do better to use Scottsdale's field. Both are about six-hour's driving time from Chinle. Rental vehicles available.
The most frequently traveled route for those coming to Chinle for the first time is to travel along I-40 to US 191 and then follow it north. There are several other routes that are significantly shorter and equally well maintained.
All roads are paved, all-weather roads. US 191 and SR 264 are plowed if it snows. On the map above, find the closest green line and follow it to Chinle.
By Road from the South and West
Turn north on SR 77 off I-40 two miles east of Winslow. There are some misplaced, garish teepees next to the overpass. Some distance to the north, at the edge of a large plain with mesas on the far side, a paved road goes to the right to Dilkon. Turn right on this road and travel until you come to another stop sign. Turn right at the Dilkon junction and travel to Bidahochi where the road tee's with SR 87 north of Holbrook. Turn left (north) on SR 87 and go about three miles. You can see a small mesa on the right beside the road. There will be right hand turn lane. Turn right here. A sign may indicate Canyon De Chelly and Lower Greasewood. Thirty miles later there will be another stop sign. Go across the intersection and continue another thirty miles to Chinle.
From the East
Travel to Gallup on I-40. Take exit 20 and head north past MacDonald's and Burger King towards Shiprock and US 666. There is an overpass north of Gallup. Go under the overpass to Window Rock on SR 264. Continue through Window Rock and over the mountains to Ganado. There is a pedistrian overpass there. Five miles west of Ganado you will pass a yellow Thriftway Gas Station/Taco Bell. Turn right (north) two hundred yards past it. Chinle is another thirty miles.
From the North:
From US 160 near the Four Corners, turn south on US 191 near Mexican Water. Chinle is sixty miles away. Be careful you don't miss the turn at Round Rock or you will end up in Lukachukai.
If you are coming from I-40 and think you have missed your turn off of SR-77, or SR 87, fear not. Both roads end at SR 264. You can travel East on SR 264 to the junction with US 191 North. It will be a little longer, but you will end up at the same place!
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Copyright © 2000
Created February 15, 1998
Most recent revision March 27, 2000