Hear about travel to the Navajo Nation as the Amateur Traveler talks to Mark Carrara from markstravels.com about his recent visit.
The Navajo Nation is a semi-autonomous Native American-governed territory the size of the state of Connecticut located mostly in Arizona. It can be described as desolate, majestic, barren and spacious.
You are going to need a car to visit this area. Mark starts us in Gallop, New Mexico but you could also start in Durango, Colorado, Page or Flagstaff, Arizona. Mark prefers starting in Gallop because of his love of shopping for Native American art. Gallop claims 80% of native art passes through Gallop. This is fine art, not trinkets made in China. If you can bear the heat of Summer they do an arts and crafts festival in August.
There are 3 major towns in the Navajo Nation. Ship Rock is the capital in the northeast corner. Window Rock is in the southwest corner near Gallop. Tuba City is in the center and is named for a Hopi chief rather than a brass instrument. Surrounded by the Navajo Nation near Tuba City is a Hopi reservation including towns on 3 mesas. Tuba City also hosts the Navajo Code Talkers Museum and the Explore Navajo Interactive Museum.
Any visit to the Navajo Nation must include a visit to the Antelope Canyon slot canyon. If you can’t take a good picture at Antelope canyon, sell your camera. The other quintessential views in the Navajo Nation are the mesas of Monument Valley made famous by John Ford westerns.
For its historic significance, Mark recommends a visit to the Navajo National Monument which has some Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) ruins. Also worth a visit is Canyon de Chelly National Monument which can be viewed via a variety of tours with native guides. But the ruins that Mark finds most impressive are found at Chaco Culture National Historical Park just over the New Mexico border.
Interactive Museum in Tuba City
Canyon de Chelly
Crownpoint Rug Auction
Navajo radio station
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