Navajo Tourism Department
P.O. Box 663
Window Rock, AZ 86515
United States of America
Visit some of the one of a kind parks within the Navajo Nation and experience some of the most breathtaking scenery in all the United States. These parks are some of Navajoland’s prime tourist destinations and should not be missed. From one of the world’s most recognized landscapes, Monument Valley to the majestic cliffs that rise from the brilliant blue waters of Lake Powell, any of these spectacular parks draws many visitors each year because of their incredible views and natural wonders.
Oversight of the Parks are provided by the National Park Services, the Navajo Parks and Recreation, Bureau of Land Management & the rest – community control.
To view a map of all sites and parks to visit on the Navajo reservation.
Antelope Canyon, located near Page, Arizona is home to one of nature’s most wondrous creations – the slot canyon. Carved from the red sandstone for millennia by rain and wind, the canyons are narrow passageways that lead several hundred feet away from the mouth. The gorgeous sloping angles of the rocks – coupled with the shifts of light that make their way down from the rim of the canyon – combine for a scene that cannot be fully explained with words. Only 8 to 12 feet wide along the sandy floor, the slot canyons have been featured in Hollywood films and magazine publications around the world. But none of those images can match the one you’ll experience when you step into the canyons and see this wonder for yourself.
For more information contact:
Antelope Canyon Tribal Park
P.O. Box 4803
Page, Arizona 86040
Step back into history – say, 65 million years back – and get a feel for the ancient vistas at Bisti Badlands Wilderness Area. The peculiar soft clay formations are spread over a vast moon-like valley, and some of the domes can literally erode before your eyes during the rainstorms of Navajoland summers. Within these opaque ridges of bizarre geologic beauty are scientific tales about the demise of dinosaurs and the ascent of mammals.
There are no signposts pointing the way to the Badlands from any nearby towns, but the usual approach route is along NM 371 from Farmington, the largest town in the Four Corners region – this heads due south through wide open prairie land at the east edge of the great Navajo Indian Reservation, which extends for 200 miles across into Arizona. After 36 miles, a gravel track exits east, opposite an historical marker recording the history of this area and of the nearby Bisti trading post, now derelict. Oversight is provided by the Bureau of Land Management.
Bureau of Land Management – Farmington Field Office
Farmington, NM 87402
- Since this is a Wilderness Area, it is closed to motorized vehicles and mechanical forms of transportation (mountain bikes included).
- Also prohibited are campfires, collecting fossils or petrified wood, climbing on delicate geologic features, traveling in groups of more than eight people, and trespassing on adjacent tribal lands.
- Permits are required for uses such as grazing, scientific research, and commercial guiding.
CHURCH ROCK – ROCK FORMATION
Called nature’s church steeple – carved by the wind and forming a towering pillar of sandstone – Church Rock is located a few miles from the Navajo border town of Gallup, NM. The nearby Navajo community is named after the rock formation, Church Rock Chapter House. Church Rock is a great photo opportunity and the best views of the formation are from the campgrounds and available RV space with hookups at Red Rock Park, which provide oversight. There are two hiking trails in the area, the Pyramid Peak Trails & the Church Rock Trails.
COAL MINE CANYON
Coal Mine Canyon, just southeast of Tuba City, is a striking combination of red mudstone, bleached white rock and coal streaks. There are picnic tables on the rim of the canyon, and the play of sunlight off the different color rocks make for picturesque photography.
P.O. Box 459
Cameron, AZ 86020
Located 5 miles west of Tuba City, along Highway 160 (not far from the Grand Canyon) this natural site contains many Lower Jurassic (208-144 million years ago) theropod tracks e.g. Dilophosaurus and others.
A little bit of history—
A few Dilophosaurus skeletons were excavated in the summer of 1924 by a couple of paleontologists out on expeditions on Navajo land – Mr. Sam Welles (Former Prof. at UC – Museum of Paleontology), and Dr. Camp. It is not well known, but according to Mr. Sam Welles’ account, a Navajo by the name of Jesse Williams discovered the Dilophosaurus skeleton a couple of years earlier in 1940. It was he, who led Mr. Welles, Bill Rush and Ed Kott to the skeleton. The skeleton was excavated and taken to UC Berkeley. It is there that the Dilophosaurus resides in the UC Museum. (Source: University of California – Museum of Paleontology)
There is a row of vendor stands, so you can view and speak to local Navajo and pueblo silversmith’s selling their beautiful jewelry.
There is a homemade-style sign directing the public to the tracks, which is directly north off Hwy 160. There are community members and private landowners nearby who provide oversight. Although there is no admission or parking fee, a Navajo guide will be on-site to provide a small tour – tips are greatly appreciated.
For a location on a map:
Click here for Google maps directions
FOUR CORNERS NAVAJO TRIBAL PARK
This is the only unique landmark in the United States where four states intersect at one point: Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The original marker erected in 1912 was a simple cement pad, but has since been redone in granite and brass.
The park is open year-round, and features a demonstration center with Navajo artisans. Navajo vendors selling handmade jewelry, crafts and traditional Navajo foods.
Services and accommodations are limited to small cafes, grocery stores and self-service gasoline stations within a 30 mile radius.
General Admission: $5.00 per person
Ages 6 or younger: Free
National Park and Golden Age Passes are not accepted.
Buses: $5.00 per person
No dogs allowed.
Entrance Fee Station Hours
Peak Season (May 1 – Sept 30) 8:00am – 8:00pm, 7 Days a week
Off Season (October 1 – April 30) 8:00am – 5:00pm, 7 Days a week
* CLOSED – Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
*Call ahead to confirm the park’s current OPEN hours, at 928-206-2540
For more information contact:
P.O. Box 9000
Window Rock, Arizona 86515
LITTLE COLORADO RIVER NAVAJO TRIBAL PARK
From a picnic ground and overlook, this Navajo Tribal Park offers visitors a fantastic view of the deep narrow gorge of the Little Colorado River. The finely layered upper limestone cliffs contrast with the massive sandstone below, evidence of a shallow sea that existed in this desertscape some 250 million years ago.
The Little Colorado River begins at Mount Baldy in the White Mountains of Arizona and makes its way northward to St. Johns, Joseph City, Winslow, Wupatki National Monument, and Cameron before reaching the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
For more information contact:
Navajo Parks & Recreation
P.O. Box 459
Cameron, AZ 86020
MONUMENT VALLEY NAVAJO TRIBAL PARK
One of the centerpieces of beauty on Navajoland – and one of the world’s most recognized landscapes – is Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Beautiful red sandstones push skyward from the vast expanse of desert floor, creating a striking set of formations that stand together against an umbrella of blue skies. This enchanting earthscape is so inspiring and magnificent that it is one of the most photographed sites in America – and has become synonymous with our vision of the great southwest.
Park hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from April thru September (winter hours are 8 am – 5 pm)
For more information contact:
P.O. Box 360289
Monument Valley, Utah 84536
Located 15 miles southwest of the town of Shiprock, New Mexico is a unique towering, bird-like volcanic rock formation that can be seen for miles in all directions. Shiprock, as this mighty sand-colored column was named by Anglo settlers, is known to the Navajo as “Tsé Bit’ a’í”, or rock with wings. The peak is 7,178 above sea level, and is at the center of three volcanic pressure ridges that pushed the rock skyward millennia ago.
As this rock formation is sacred to the Navajos – hiking and/or climbing on the sacred peak or its surrounding rocks is forbidden. Also driving onto the dirt road leading to the formation is prohibited – please view and photograph the peak from the paved roadway (Indian Service Route 13 or from US Highway 491). Oversight is provided by the local communities. There are no facilities in the vicinity.
WHEATFIELDS LAKE RECREATIONAL PARK
Wheatfields Lake is located in the Chuska Mountains on Diné/Biitah Scenic Road, Indian Route 12, approximately 41 miles north of Window Rock. Park your RV or pitch a tent under the cool pines for dry, but beautiful camping experience. According to inside information, fishing is best at Wheatfields Lake. An average trout pulled from this lake is 16 to 19 inches long. They’re perfect for dinner and you’re allowed to catch up to eight per day. In early spring, the lake is stocked with over 5,000 rainbow trout. Do not bring minnows, crayfish or waterdogs to use as bait. Any other common trout bait or lures are permitted.
Fishing from the shore is common, or with a Navajo Nation watercraft permit, you can inflate your watercraft, paddle your kayak or canoe, or motor your fishing boat around the lake. The choice is yours. Don’t forget sunscreen – this high desert country can produce surprisingly fast sunburns.
P.O. Box 1480, Window Rock, AZ 86515
WINDOW ROCK NAVAJO TRIBAL PARK & VETERAN’S MEMORIAL PARK
The small park near the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice-President building features the graceful redstone arch for which the capital is named. The Navajo Nation headquarters and other government offices were built in close proximity to this mystical rock formation. A Veteran’s Memorial is also at the base of Window Rock to honor the many Navajos who served in the U.S. military. Many Navajo soldiers are recognized in the annals of history for their role as Code Talkers, whereby they used the native language to create a code that was never broken by the enemy. Historians credit the Navajo Code Talkers for helping to win World War II. The park has many symbolic structures: a circular path outlining the four cardinal directions, 16 angled steel pillars with the names of war veterans, and a healing sanctuary that is used for reflection and solitude that features a fountain made of sandstone.
NAVAJO NATION ZOO & BOTANICAL PARK
Established as a zoo on July 4th, 1977 – The Navajo Nation Zoo and Botanical Park is “a Sanctuary for Nature and the Spirit.” The zoo offers the visitor a quiet place to reflect, and a unique opportunity to connect with over 50 animal species native to the Navajo Nation. Here, you can learn about the biology, as well as the traditional importance of animals to the Navajo People. One of the zoos’ goals is to help the Navajo People maintain their link to the natural world – through the native plants and animals.
The Navajo Nation Zoo is the only Native American owned-and-operated zoo in the U.S and located in the capital city of the Navajo Nation, Window Rock, Arizona within a Tribally-designated park. The Navajo Zoo has free admission for everyone, every day; donations are encouraged, and truly do help to meet our daily needs.
The Navajo Zoo is not only a sanctuary for people, but also for the animals. Nearly all of the animals come here because they were injured or orphaned in the wild. These issues prevent them from being able to exist in nature as free-living animals; therefore the zoo provides them with expert daily food, care and medical attention when needed. A new eagle aviary has been designed and construction will begin to expand the area for more room for the eagles to fly and to include a drinking pond, storage, exam room, office space, an observation area and gallery for the injured non-releasable golden eagles.