Spend a Week in the Navajo Nation
Adventure & Storyteller
6 Days Discovering Navajo
Start / End
Page, Arizona / Tuba City, Arizona
478 miles / 753 km
Join us on a journey through the Navajo Nation. This six-day itinerary takes you all the way from Page, AZ to Tuba City, AZ with incredible outdoor destinations, cultural sights, and great food and lodging along the way. And in a nod to tradition, we do it in a clockwise direction—the same way you would move about a Navajo Hogan. Once you see how much there is to do in the Navajo Nation, you might just want to extend your visit!
You’ll do a little bit of everything on this trip, so prepare for success! We recommend packing technical layers that you can wear several times for different activities: exploring Antelope Canyon, hiking Canyon de Chelly, and checking out dinosaur tracks in Tuba City. (Wool is a great antimicrobial, breathable fabric that goes great with travel.) A good pair of hiking boots will also be a “must” on this journey. And remember that whenever you’re adventuring outside in the desert, it’s smart to pack extra water: one liter per person for every hour hiking or backpacking is a good rule of thumb.
Begin your journey through the Navajo Nation in Page, Arizona. Located just south of the Arizona state line on the shores of Lake Powell, Page is a veritable hub of adventure. You could probably pass an entire week here exploring all the nearby outdoor attractions!
If you only have a day, maximize your time. Begin with a guided tour of Antelope Canyon. Antelope Canyon Tours is a Navajo owned and operated service that will take you on a mesmerizing hike through the upper reaches of the slot canyon—or if you prefer to mix it up, to the nearby Vermillion Cliffs. There are a wide variety of tours available from a number of outfitters. Check them all out here and find the one that’s right for you.
That afternoon, head to Antelope Point Marina. From there, the options are endless. Fish the afternoon away straight from the beach, or kayak into peaceful coves. Go for a boat tour with an expert guide who will share the secrets of the lake. You can even rent out a houseboat for the evening for the ultimate stargazing experience.
After all that adventure, refuel at one of Page’s delicious eateries or at the Antelope Point Marina. Finger-licking fried chicken, juicy burgers, and fresh vegetarian options are all available right in town, as are a number of lodging options.
1 HOUR 40 MINUTES – 100 MILES / 160 KM
The following day, continue clockwise to Kayenta, Arizona. On the way you will encounter Navajo National Monument, a staggering cultural site that is home to two of Arizona’s largest cliff dwellings. Take in the views from Betatakin Overlook and stop by the visitor center to explore an authentic hogan and sweat lodge. It’s also possible to book a guided hike to the dwellings, depending on the time of year.
Then, continue on to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Made famous by the sheer number of films shot here, chances are that you may recognize several iconic views within the park. But don’t be fooled—there is a lot left to discover. Drive the 17-mile loop or spend the afternoon with a guide exploring otherwise inaccessible parts of the valley. After enjoying sunset in Monument Valley, get checked into one of the local hotels and enjoy a Navajo taco for dinner. It’s like pizza, with a twist!
1 HOUR, 10 MINUTES – 70 MILES / 113 KM
Next on your journey through the Navajo Nation is Chinle, Arizona. Just over an hour from Kayenta, it’s another source of immense natural wonder and Navajo heritage. Slow the pace down and take the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in Canyon de Chelly National Monument. This 26-mile canyon is overflowing in Ancient Puebloan history dating back to 1200 AD, and families still make a way of life here today.
As with many of the other destinations in the Navajo Nation, Canyon de Chelly is best experienced with the knowledge of a local guide. Whether you prefer to sightsee by 4WD vehicle, horseback, or your own two feet, one of the Navajo-led outfits will craft the perfect day.
After your adventure, head to the nearest watering hole: Junction Restaurant. That evening, check into the historic Thunderbird Lodge, the only Navajo-owned property in the area that also happens to be within the monument itself.
1 HOUR, 10 MINUTES – 68 MILES / 110 KM
The following day, continue on to Window Rock Navajo Tribal Park and Veteran’s Memorial. This unique memorial is part nature preserve, part tribal headquarters, and part war memorial. In fact, this small town (called Tségháhoodzání) is also the capital of the Navajo Nation. The headquarters and government offices were built here intentionally due to the significance of the Window Rock arch to the Navajo people. It is said that here, a medicine man collected water from a sacred pond beneath the arch in the Waterway Ceremony. To travelers such as ourselves, this offers insight into the way Navajo tradition is interwoven into everyday life.
Spend the afternoon enjoying the many sights of the memorial, from the Navajo Code Talker statue to Window Rock itself. Afterwards, you might enjoy browsing the Chi’hootso Marketplace and Flea Market. Shop for blankets, beadwork, and jewelry and sample frybread and Navajo tea. There is also a zoo and botanical park nearby, perfect for kids in tow.
2 HOURS, 5 MINUTES – 129 MILES / 108 KM
Heading west for the first time on your journey, travel to the town of Leupp, Arizona. It’s just past here that lucky travelers may have the chance to see the surprise natural waterfall: Grand Falls. This part of the Little Colorado River only runs during monsoon season or during large snowmelt events. If you catch it while it’s flowing, you’re in for a real show!
If you’d like to try to plan your trip around this natural phenomena, July through September are the most common monsoon months. Some years are better than others for rainfall, making Grand Falls an extra-special occurrence. If you are visiting during a dry spell, today you may consider continuing north towards Tuba City. Coal Mine Canyon is a beautiful place to have a picnic on the rim of the canyon and practice your photography.
1 HOURS, 45 MINUTES – 102 MILES / 164 KM
The final stop on the itinerary is Tuba City, Arizona. This bustling city center in the Navajo Nation boasts plenty of amenities like restaurants and shopping, and is home to a few activities that are the perfect finale for your trip. Start the morning off at the Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks, five miles west of town. These 200-million-year-old tracks will fascinate the entire family. Typically there are a number of Navajo artisans at the pulloff who would be more than happy to offer their guiding services. As always, this is a great way to get a closer look.
That afternoon, head to the Explore Navajo Interactive Museum. This extensive tribute to the Navajo way of life is engaging and educational. You’ll travel through the exhibits in a clockwise fashion, just like how you’ve completed this itinerary, and learn more about the stories and culture of the people whose home you’re now acquainted with. Afterwards you might be inspired to stay longer and see the parts you’ve missed!