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Navajo National Monument, Shonto

Ruin Lookout Must See
Navajo National Monument is a National Monument located within the northwest portion of the Navajo Nation territory in northern Arizona, which was established to preserve three well-preserved cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloan People: Keet Seel (Broken Pottery) (Kitsʼiil), Betatakin (Ledge House) (Bitátʼahkin), and Inscription House (Tsʼah Biiʼ Kin). The monument is high on the Shonto plateau, overlooking the Tsegi Canyon system, west of Kayenta, Arizona. It features a visitor center with a museum, two short self-guided mesa top trails, two small campgrounds, and a picnic area. Rangers guide visitors on free tours of the Keet Seel and Betatakin cliff dwellings. The Inscription House site, further west, is currently closed to public access.

The Sandal Trail is an accessible self-guided walk that provides views of the spectacular canyonlands and rugged topography near the visitor center. Interpretive signs provide information on local flora and other topics. The 1-mile (1.6 km) round-trip trail ends at an overlook of the Betatakin ruins across the 560-foot-deep (170 m) Betatakin Canyon. The National Monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.
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Navajo National Monument Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
259 reviews
  • This was my first visit, and the staff (one Hopi, one Navajo) that were on duty were so knowledgeable and helpful.  more »
  • The first thing you'll see is a gift shop and museum, which has a ton of information about the local wildlife and history of the site. Behind the museum, there are 3 hiking trails, which have the...  more »
  • Gorgeous, amazing experience. There are three trails. I had only enough time for two. The Canyon View trail is exactly that and leaves you with a lasting impression. The Sandal Trail leads to an overlook of the monument across an easy 1 mile paved path. The visitor center has plenty to read and learn.
  • Wonderful experience. Incredibly peaceful and awe-inspiring. There are picnic tables and a small museum of artifacts. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable. I wish we had more time to keep exploring!
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