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The Navajo Nation, which encompasses parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, has a wealth of historical and natural significances that will ignite the senses and your curiosity. From the grand sandstone masterpieces of monument valley to the ancient pueblo ruins of Canyon de Chelly there’s plenty to see, do, and learn from on the Arizona side of the Navajo reservation. Be sure to incorporate some smaller treasures during your visit, such as Navajo Nation Window Rock Monument & Veteran Memorial Park, or Hubbell Trading Post and national historic site.
Populating most of the Four Corners area, the native tribes were largely hunters and gatherers. As settlers overtook the Southwest due to manifest destiny, conflict ensued and adaptation to the new America that was forming was necessary. The result of conflict and compromise was the creation of the Navajo reservation, which covers more than 27,000 square miles of varied desert landscape.
The Navajo Reservation’s expansive boundaries include a wide array of landscapes, formations, and plants that make this area such a distinctive landmark in the Southwest and the world.
Monument Valley’s rock formations tower over the landscape and command attention. The majestic canyons also hold many stories in every erosive grove, mineral color, and ancient ruin clinging to the rock walls. Whether you’re in the flatlands, high mountain meadows, or dry deserts, the rich Southwestern colors of reds, yellows, oranges, and pale greens always saturate your vision against the crystal blue skies.
The Navajo Nation’s land is an outdoor mecca and photographer’s dream. There’s no shortage of intriguing, natural compositions and exciting trails.
Antelope Canyon Tribal Park in LeChee, Arizona features the upper and lower canyons. The upper canyon’s walls rise 120 feet above the streambed. The lower canyon is also located in LeChee and is known as Hasdestwazi, or “spiral rock arches.” Both parts of the canyon require a tour guide to accompany you on your hike.
Monument Valley Tribal Park is one of the most photographed monuments on earth and boasts sandstone masterpieces that tower at heights of 400 to 1,000 feet. Marvel at Mother Nature’s handy work, eroding massive rocks into interesting sculptures that are open to miles of interpretation. What will you see craved in the rock?
Canyon de Chelly National Monument is the longest uninterrupted, human inhabited area in the Colorado Plateau. Navajo families still call this canyon home, raising livestock and tending farmlands.
Visit the Explore Navajo Interactive Museum to get an in-depth look at the Navajo people’s journey, as well as their society and historical contributions ranging from ancient to the Spanish-American War to WWII. With the help of leading Navajo scholars and the Navajo community, the museum provides a vibrant learning experience for all ages.
National Navajo Code Talkers Museum, located steps from the Explore Navajo Interactive Museum, the museum is an homage to the Navajo code talkers who served with the Marines in the Pacific theatre during World War II. The museum displays photos, transcripts and gear and equipment used by the code talkers to translate and transmit orders and information on tactics, troop movements and other battelfield information via telegraphs and radios using a specialized navajo code. It has been said "that if were not for the Navajo Code Talkers, the Marines would have never taken Iwo Jima."
Depending on the parks and historical sites you’re visiting, there are a variety of lodging options available.
Camping is allowed with a permit for several locations. The vast size of the reservation means there are a variety of camping sites to choose from, including the Little Colorado River, San Juan River, and Monument Valley.
Navajo Festival of Arts & Culture
Navajo Nation Fair
Information: (928) 871-6478
Navajo Rug Auction
Window Rock is the capitol of the Navajo Nation, just a short drive from Gallup, off Highway 264 & Route 12.
Window Rock, AZ 86515