• Betatakin: Navajo National Monument - Kayenta, Arizona

      cliff dwelling
      Photo by Rick Quinn
      There are three important Anasazi Cliff dwellings in Navajo National Monument. One of them, the Inscription House, is closed to the public. Another, Keet Seel, can only be visited by those who are willing and able to hike 17 miles on one of the scheduled treks led by Park Rangers. The third, called Betatakin (which means Ledge House in Navajo), can also be visited on a Ranger-led hike, a 3 mile loop, or a 5 mile loop (both considered strenuous). The good news is, with Betatakin, there's another option: the Sandal Trail. A pleasant self-guided walk of just one mile from the visitor's center leads to an overlook with a marvelous view of the ruin, nestled within a natural alcove in the sandstone cliff on the far side of a canyon. This well-preserved prehistoric village, once home to as many as 125 people, was built entirely within the confines of that alcove, 450 feet high and 370 feet deep.

      If you go:
      Contact the National Park Service for specific information about the guided hikes, which are free of charge, but may require advance reservations. Note that these hikes are available only in summer, from late May until mid-September. There are two campgrounds in the National Monument, as well as a visitor's center where films about the cliff dwellings can be viewed.


      Sandal Trail
      Kayenta, Arizona 86033 USA

      Mailing address:
      P.O. Box 7717
      Shonto, AZ 86045 USA

      Phone Numbers:

      Navajo Monument Visitor's Center
      +1 (928) 672-2700