Friday, May 26, 2017

The Beauty of Navajo National Monument.

Navajo National Monument 

Highway 564
Shonto, Arizona, 86045

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7717, Shonto, Arizona, 86045

Phone Number: (928) 672-2700


In 1909, Navajo National Monument was established as a protectorate for amazing Puebloan sites: Keet Seel, Betatakin and Inscription House.  Unfortunately, the day we visited, one of our party could not do any hiking that day, even the 1.3 mile round trip to Betatakin Overlook.  However, we were able to visit a more accessible site, Tsegi Point Overlook, and the Visitor Center does contain a museum with a recreation of a ruin at Betatakin.

Highway 564 is 20 miles west, on Highway 160, from the town of Kayenta; another 9 miles along Highway 564 will bring you to the Visitor Center.  

About halfway to the Visitor Center is Tsegi Point Overlook, a breathtaking viewpoint of the Tsegi Canyon system including Fir, Tsegi, Dowozhiebito and Keet Seel canyons.  Not only is this a stunning landscape, but the quiet surrounds you.

The Visitor Center staff are friendly and helpful; there is a small gift shop inside, and another shop selling Native American crafts next door. The museum is filled with Native American artifacts, as well as a recreation of a pueblo home located at Betatakin.

We drove around to scout out the two campgrounds (first come, first serve and NO wood fires allowed), and the surrounding plant and tree life of the area.

 Shepherdia rotundifolia, roundleaf buffaloberry & Mahonia fremontii, Fremont Barberry  (1)
Shepherdia rotundifolia, roundleaf buffaloberry & Mahonia fremontii, Fremont Barberry  (2)
We're looking forward to going back and definitely taking that hike out to Betatakin Overlook; also just nosing around to see what we can see.

By the way, if coming from Kayenta, make sure to keep a lookout at the alcoves in those sandstone hills; there are ruin sites like the one at mile mark 379 (south side)/mile mark 394 (north side) on Highway 160.

Mary Cokenour


  1. Beautiful photographs of an amazing area.
    I was in that area many years ago, and thanks to you, I now want to go back.

    1. I'm happy that I could give you some inspiration.