Navajo National Monument, AZ
By Ron Goulet
Navajo Monument is a thirty minute drive west from the small community of Kayenta, AZ. It’s a small oasis hide-away hidden in the heart of the Navajo Nation. The drive into the Navajo Nation Park is free. The park over looks what Navajo’s call Anasazi ruin built in the side of the canyon, similar to the ones in Camp Verde Colorado National Park. As you approach the canyon you’ll be greeted by the visitor center, there you may find a map of point of attraction and scenic stops on the walking trail. The visitor center has a small theater with short films that gives you more insight on the ruins. Just like all other Navajo sites this one does have its own stories and from time to time there will be a Navajo storyteller on location. If not, the guides will know a small part or the enter story. You may hike the rim with no guide. The two mile trail to the actual ruin is by guide only and is only provided in the morning due to the extreme heat. A small fee is paid with the visitor cashier. The rim of the canyon gives you a birds eye view of the beautiful scenery any time of the day year around. Although this park is open year around be advised early morning or later afternoons are best for hikes in these areas. Hiking wear is recommended for this park. If a visitor chooses to stay at the center they could enjoy the shaded benches and tables. Take and drink plenty of water and small snacks.
Take small first aid kit. These areas are all natural opened areas. Remember that you are in the natural habitats of the local wildlife. You may find a listing of the wildlife in the visitor center.
Please remember to take your trash with you as plastic is hazardous to the smaller animals.
The areas along the rim are stones, please remember carving into the rocks is illegal and fines will apply to anyone seen doing so. Its best to stay on the designated trails. Going off these main trails may result in a hiker losing their way and getting lost. Most of the Navajo Nation is off grid and limited to cell phone service. The area is highly wooded and would almost be imposable for emergency helicopters to land or locate a person. In and out of this area would be by four-wheel vehicles and small trail runners. Enjoy your lunch under the Navajo juniper trees at the picnic areas in front of the park. If your too tired to get back on that long highway or would like to catch the early hike but you don’t want to drive back from Kayenta you may camp at the site. The restroom facilities do have running water and are located outside the visitor center along with a water faucet area. From April to November the visitor center has local artist available such as; rug weavers, flute makers, potter makers, Navajo silversmith, Navajo Story tellers. You may also find a calendar of events for the entire summer.
Youth day hiking and overnight hiking with park guides. Star gazing for the overnight campers.
As you leave the park you may drive an hour north west to the famous Monument Valley.
You also could drive an hour north east to beautiful Navajo Nation Antelope Point Marina minutes east of Page, AZ. Both parks do have a fee toll at the entrance.
Navaja National Monument 7-day Weather Forecast