Native American Culture
Where to Stay When Traveling Through the Navajo Nation
There are so many different aspects of the Navajo Nation that make it special and truly make it an experience in itself. From the breathtaking views to the deep-rooted culture, there is so much to be discovered! We are firm believers that the new year is the perfect time to start planning your spring road trips! Today, we are just going to highlight some of the places where you can stay while exploring and discovering the Navajo Nation. So buckle up and enjoy the ride, let’s explore the Navajo Nation!
Staying in Window Rock
Regardless if you’re passing through on business or fun, there are a couple of great options for you when you’re staying in the heart of the Navajo Nation. The Navajoland Inn of St. Michaels is the perfect stop for your trip through the Navajo Nation. Only a few minutes from Window Rock, guests can enjoy amenities such as the indoor pool, newly renovated rooms, free breakfast, guest laundry and so much more! In addition to the Navajoland Inn, you can also make a reservation at the Quality Inn, located directly in the heart of Window Rock. The Quality Inn offers beautiful, southwestern decorated rooms, and free breakfast as well, and is just minutes from everything Window Rock has to offer. Speaking of everything it has to offer, there is so much to do and explore in Window Rock. Let’s check out so popular options.
Things to Do in Window Rock
There’s a multitude of things to do in Window Rock, if you’re looking to spend some time outside, then the Navajo Nation Zoo and Botanical Park is definitely something you should have on your list. It is the only Native American Zoo in the United States. It has been operational since 1977 and welcomes new visitors from around the country each and every year. The zoo provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to learn and make a connection with native animals of NavajoLands, which they might not get the chance to at any other zoo in Arizona.
In addition to the zoo is the Window Rock Tribal Park and Veterans Memorial. It will truly take your breath away walking through the park and taking in your full surroundings. The Veterans Memorial is dedicated to the Navajo veterans who have given their lives fighting in wars for the United States, the Navajo Code Talkers are particularly honored here.
The Hubbell Trading Post is also a great stop to make if you’re in the area. It is also dubbed the “oldest continuously operated trading post in the United States”. These days, if you wander into the trading post you can still find it selling groceries and dry goods, but it also serves as a National Historic site, featuring a bookstore, exhibits, rug-weaving demonstrations, and picnic tables.
Staying in Canyon De Chelly
The Thunderbird Lodge is the only hotel located in the Canyon De Chelly National Monument. While there are campsites available, if you’re looking for a small slice of home away from home, then the Thunderbird Lodge is going to be your best option. The lodge offers superb views and you are right in the heart of the national monument, ready to go exploring to take a tour while on your stay.
About Canyon De Chelly
Canyon de Chelly is located at 5,500 feet above sea level and has canyon walls that stretch 1,000 feet down or up depending on if you’re looking up or down. Spring can be cool and windy with highs ranging from 50 to 70 and lows of around 35 degrees. It is encouraged to not travel the canyons during any kind of bad weather as you could run into dust storms and canyon flooding. If you’re traveling in the summer, it will be hot and dry with highs ranging from 85 to 100 and lows of around 50 degrees. Winters are cold and breezy with highs from 40 to 60 and lows of at least 18 degrees. It isn’t uncommon for the canyon walls to see at least 1-4 inches of snow and freezing nighttime temperatures. Please plan accordingly when planning your travels!
Staying in Tuba City
Should your travels take you to the beautiful city of Tuba City, the Navajoland Hotel of Tuba City is a great place to call a home base. If you’re traveling in an RV, there’s room for you too! With 40 RV spots on site, you can also do some glamping while you’re in Tuba City. The hotel features, southwestern rooms with a restaurant, and a gift shop, and you can even grab a free breakfast! With so much to see and do in Tuba City, this is the place to stay!
About Tuba City, Arizona
The Navajo who’ve lived in the area since around 1892, refer to it as To’Nanees Dizi, which means “tangled, scattered or braided water” – a reference to the many springs below the surface. Tuba City is the most populous community within the Navajo Nation, just slightly larger than Shiprock, New Mexico, and happens to be the headquarters of the Western Navajo Agency.
The historic Tuba City Trading Post, which dates to 1905, sells authentic American Indian sandpaintings, rugs, jewelry, and pottery for the serious collector and the souvenir shopper. The Navajo Interactive Museum is an excellent introduction to the land, language, history, cultural, and ceremonial life of the Navajo people, as well as the patriotism of the tribe’s World War II Code Talkers. And while in town, don’t pass up the chance to try traditional dishes like mutton stew and fry bread.
Regardless of where your travels take you, the Navajo Nation welcomes you and is excited to host you on your next road trip!
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