Hiking in Navajo National Monument
Navajo National Monument Hiking Trails. Hiking is the best way for adventurous souls to see the Navajo National Monument. It's a fairly strenuous 5-mile hike to the Betatakin sites, permissible only with a guide from the visitor center, but if you're fit, it's well worth it to visit one of the best-preserved ancient dwellings in the Southwest. It's free, but the trail is open daily only during the summer months (May through September), and on weekends the rest of the year, when weather permits; there are two Betatakin hikes each morning. Call ahead to make a reservation—it's a good idea to reserve at least four weeks in advance. There are also three shorter self-guided hikes, open year-round, leaving from the visitor center. All are between a half-mile and a full mile round-trip. The Sandal Trail leads to a viewpoint overlooking the Betatakin/Talastima cliff dwellings, and the Canyon Trail ends at a historic ranger station and takes in expansive views of Tsegi Canyon. Shonto, AZ, 86045. 928/672–2700. www.nps.gov/nava.