The Chapel of the Holy Cross was inspired and commissioned by local rancher and sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude in 1932. She was inspired to build such a church by the construction of the Empire State Building. The chapel is built on Coconino National Forest land; the late Senator Barry Goldwater assisted Staude in obtaining a special-use permit.
The construction supervisor was Fred Courkos, who built the chapel in 18 months at a cost of US$300,000.
The chapel was completed in 1956. It operates as a Catholic church under supervsion of the local diocese, although it is used mainly as a wedding chapel, not a parish church.