Reminder: The Navajo Nation observes Daylight Savings Time, begins in March and ends November. When it’s 2 pm in Flagstaff, it is 3 pm in Monument Valley.
Tuba City, Arizona, the starting point of the Indian Culture Tour, is easily accessible to travelers, at no more than a two hour drive from Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, or Flagstaff. It is a great tour to learn and experience the Navajo Indian Culture.
Visit the latest Northern Arizona Attraction; the remarkable Explore Navajo Interactive Museum in Tuba City. First exihibited at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Explore Navajo has been called the “Western Gateway” to Navajo country. Situated in the “hub” of Northern Arizona, this museum is over 7,000 sq. feet, and features Navajo rugs, Pottery, stories of creation, and a traditional Navajo Hogan (home). [Codetalker Museum]
Along with Explore Navajo, the anticipated and respectfully dedicated Navajo Code Talkers Museum features machinery and tools used in battle, victory stories, transcript of a Code Talker and exceptionally detailed photos.
Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the Quality Inn Navajo Nation. Enjoy southwestern comfort and a convenient base to explore the richness of Navajoland and its people. After a dinner of traditional Navajo cuisine, Southwestern or American food at the Hogan Restaurant, schedule some time to take in the beautiful Navajo sunset and a warm summer’s eve.
Begin your day with a light breakfast or a hearty meal at the Hogan Restaurant. Visit the historic Tuba City Trading Post - part of the Indian Country landscape since 1870. It contains authentic Indian arts and crafts, such as Indian jewelry, pottery, rugs, sand paintings, Kachina dolls, and clothing; each reflecting the superb craftsmanship and cultural traditions of the artist.
A scenic 72 mile drive northeast on US highway 160 will take you to Kayenta, AZ and one of the satellite stores of Navajo Arts & Crafts Enterprise. Get out and stretch your legs while looking at some of the authentic fine art and collectibles available there. Once you’re back on the road, you’ll want to head north on US highway 163 for 24 miles to IR42 to the entrance to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.
Monument Valley is one of America’s most recognized natural monuments. The Navajo Name for Monument Valley is Tse’ Bii’ Ndzisgaii – which translates to “light around the mittens”. No other place on earth has the colors of an icy blue-sky contrasting so prominently against a crimson earth. Piercing from the valley floor are towering pillar-like spires reddened over the years by a southwestern sun. The ground is barren except for a peppering of cedar trees, sagebrushes and yucca plants. With such an awe-inspiring panorama, it is the Wild West epitomized. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park celebrated its 50th Golden Anniversary in 2008.
Leave Monument Valley by 2 PM and head south. You’ll want to have plenty of time to see Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Drive back to Kayenta. Then jog a short distance northeast on US 160 to Indian Rt. 59. Turn south and travel 60 miles to Many Farms and US Highway 191. Turn South again on 191 and drive 15 miles to Chinle, AZ. Turn left at the stoplight/junction, go about 2 miles, follow the signs to the Canyon de Chelly Visitor Center. At the Visitor Center, you’ll find valuable information about the canyon, a gift shop, restrooms and demonstrations. You’ll want to drive to some of the canyon overlooks. The afternoon shadows should provide awesome photo opportunities. If you brought your hiking shoes and a water bottle, you might be ready for a hike down to White House Ruins and back. Make it a point to come back next year to spend more time inside the canyon.
It will take you about an hour and 15 minutes to get from Chinle to Window Rock, AZ. By the time you get to the Quality Inn Navajo Nation Capital you’ll be glad to call it your “Hogan” away from home. Recipient of the Platinum and “Best of Brand” award for 2006 from Choice Hotels International, the Quality Inn Navajo Nation Capital anticipates your arrival. With beautiful, clean Southwestern rooms featuring HBO, free in-room coffee, free local calls, the Quality Inn in Window Rock is the hotel you have been looking for. The Diné Restaurant, located on-site, features local native cuisine such as Navajo tacos, mutton stew and the Navajo buffet, in addition to Mexican and American cuisine.
Navajo Arts & Crafts Enterprise is conveniently located next door to the hotel. A Navajo Nation-owned retailer, they have represented the Navajo artisan since 1941. Stroll on over to shop for authentic Navajo fine art & collectibles.
After breakfast at the Quality Inn Navajo Nation Capital the next morning take a walking tour of the Navajo Nation Council Chambers National Historic Landmark and Window Rock Monument & Veterans Memorial Park, located just a few minutes from the hotel. The Council Chambers is the meeting place for the Navajo Government to discuss critical issues determining the future of the Navajo people. Incidentally, the interior of the Council Chambers is decorated with beautiful murals depicting Navajo life, culture and history.
At the Window Rock Monument & Veterans Memorial Park, just a few steps from the Council Chambers, you will see the symbolic statue created to honor the well known Navajo Code Talkers sitting at the base of the sacred sandstone monument “Window Rock” for which the town is named.
The Navajo Nation Zoological & Botanical Park in Window Rock is the only tribally owned zoo in the country. Admission is free every day of the week except when the zoo is closed on Sunday and holidays. You’ll see indigenous wild animals from the 4-corners region, including the Gunnison Prairie Dog. He is not on the official roster, but makes himself at home nonetheless! Website
Upon completion of your self-guided tours; take one last picture and thought-image, as you begin your descending journey back to your home.
|Navajo Interactive Museum
||Tuba City Trading Post
|Tuba City Trading Post
||Navajo Arts & Crafts Enterprise
|Navajo Arts & Crafts Enterprise
||Monument Valley Tribal Park
|Monument Valley Tribal Park
||Canyon De Chelly National Monument
|Canyon De Chelly National Monument
||Quality Inn Navajo Nation Capital
|Quality Inn Navajo Nation Capital
||Navajo Nation Council Chambers
|Navajo Nation Council Chambers
||Window Rock Monument & Veterans Memorial Park
|Window Rock Monument and Veterans Memorial Park
||Navajo Nation Zoological & Botanical Park
Navajo Nation Tourism ~ 928-810-8501 ~ www.DiscoverNavajo.com