My name is Lupita McClanahan and my family has lived in Tse’gi (Rock Canyon) at Canyon De Chelly National Monument for as long as there have been stories. I offer hiking, camping, and cultural immersion tours through my business Footpath Journeys.
Dine’ (Navajo) culture teaches that we must walk in beauty. Footpath Journeys is my way of sharing the beauty of the canyon, our traditions, and our stories with you.
Lupita McClanahan grew up in the canyon and then worked for years as a Park Service Ranger. She has dedicated her life to building a bridge between the modern world, and traditional Dine' culture. Through Footpath Journeys, watch how she brings people like you into the canyon to have an immersive cultural experience, while also re-educating the next generation of Dine’ peoples in their culture.
Camp and Hike in the Canyon
4 Days and 3 Nights of Cultural Immersion
Available every week in the Spring and Fall for Private Groups
Imagine visiting an ancestral Hogan whose residents still live there. Then put that Hogan in a remote part of a National Monument where you are one of just a handful of people who get to stay there each year. Spend your mornings taking hikes along ancient trails to see cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and majestic canyon walls. In the afternoons, join residents of the canyon as you participate in seasonal cultural activities like corn planting or weaving. Then sit by the campfire and watch the stars come out while you hear stories from an elder who was raised in the traditional ways.
This is just the beginning of your experience with Footpath Journeys.
We offer Cultural Immersion Experiences at two unique locations at Canyon De Chelly. The itinerary of both 4-day trips is similar in that you will explore the land and participate in cultural activities with Lupita and her relatives.
Choose Your Experience:
Yei Bi Cheii is a remote camp on the canyon floor about 3 miles from a trailhead. Lupita’s ancestral hogan sits at the confluence of Canyon del Muerto and Canyon de Chelly, nestled among cottonwoods. This experience focuses on ancient history with visits to White House Cliff Dwellings, Ledge Cliff Dwelling, and the Birthing Hogan. Petroglyphs and pictographs cover the canyon walls, and participants get to enjoy the canyon’s beauty and solitude day and night. Camping gear is transported there on a 4x4 so that you can just carry a daypack. Yei Bi Cheii camp is best for groups of 15 or less who want to immerse themselves in the canyon itself.
Sheep Camp is located near the rim and is accessible by car. It can accommodate larger groups like schools, or groups that prefer sleeping in camper vans. This camp will help you understand the daily life for the year-round residents of the Navajo Nation. Corn is planted, wild onions are harvested, and Lupita keeps her sheep here. From Sheep Camp you will ride in a pickup to the rim to go on hikes. Wind Arch is a 5-mile round trip hike with 1,500 ft of vertical gain. It is more difficult and remote than any hikes at Yei Bi Cheii. The second hike will be a half day exploration along the rim with fantastic views.
What Visitors Have Said-
My class came to Sheep Camp and it was so incredible. This wasn't a vacation but I feel like it was the best trip ever because I learned so much about the Dine' and myself.
My son and I spent a few days with Lupita and it was life changing. Going to the canyon felt like a another country because the culture is so incredible and different. My son Valentino and I still talk about the experience.
My time with Lupita was so special. She shared her land and culture with us in a personal way while walking through a gorgeous canyon. I learned so much through our casual conversations and observing her quiet interactions with nature.