We are your travel information source for visiting the Navajo Nation and encourage you to subscribe so you don’t miss out on important travel information, and prizes.
Please download the premier issue of The Navajo Guide. You can download a copy for your personal use. We will publish an updated copy each year and have it available at select hotels, restaurants, and tourist information centers. We will also post recommended itineraries by region.
Visit our Travel Forum page to read comments and recommendations by other travelers and the Travel Features page for additional stories and upcoming events.
The 2023 Navajo Guide publication (66 pages) is divided into six sections with maps: destinations, food, culture, tips & safety, shopping, and outdoors.
— Navajo Guide
Tips & Safety
FAQ for first time visitors to Navajo
A majority of people who live in the southwest have never visited the Navajo reservation. Many do not even know where the Reservation is located, its majestic beauty, picturesque sunsets, or its’ centuries old culture and traditions. According to many national surveys, most Americans have never heard of the Navajo people. “Do they live in teepees?” is one question often asked. “Do I need permission to visit? Do I need a passport?” is another. Our website and publication has answers to many of these questions and more.
We hope you visit and use the Navajo Guide as your source. Each month, we will post updated information, features, and itineraries.
1. Where is the Navajo reservation and how do I get there?
The Navajo Nation is the largest American Indian reservation and stretches across three states in the southwest: New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. The Reservation is almost equal in size to West Virginia. To get to Navajo Reservation, you can take a plane to Phoenix, Ariz. or Albuquerque, NM. From Phoenix, there are flights into Gallup, NM. which gets you close or to Page, Ariz. or Flagstaff, Ariz. And if you are driving westbound on I-40, you will actually drive at the border of the Reservation. You can also take Amtrak that runs along the southern boundaries of the Reservation with stops in Flagstaff, Winslow, and Gallup, NM.
2. How should I get ready for my visit?
Find a good map. Several are included for you in this publication. Make sure you fill up the gas tank before you leave and whenever you have a chance, because some areas are remote. Some cellular signals have connection issues (read our story) The Navajo Nation has a tourism office and NavajoGuide.com is the ONLY independent source that provides visitor-oriented information about the culture and things to know. Register on our website so you can get updated information and even prizes.
3. Do I need any permission or a passport?
The Navajo Nation is a sovereign government within the United States, similar to France or Germany. Navajos are citizens of the United States. Please obey all laws and regulations.
You do not need a Visa or passport to visit the Navajo Reservation. The reservation boundaries are not gated. On the other hand, if you plan to take photos for commercial use or conduct research, then you need permission from a tribal office (Read our stories on photography).
4. Is the Navajo culture similar to what we read in the novels by Tony Hillerman?
You can get a flair of Navajo culture by reading Hillerman’s mystery novels. Also, tune to KTNN-AM 660, KNDN 960, or KGAK 1330 on your AM radio dial to listen to the Navajo language, interspersed with English. Also, buy a copy of the Gallup Independent or Navajo Times. But even better, read our NavajoGuide – front to back as well as the comments posted on our forum page.
5. What are the must-see sites that everyone talks about?
Monument Valley – Majestic beauty
Shiprock – Majestic rock formation
Canyon de Chelly- Majestic rock formation and ancient ruins Trading Posts – Many active trading posts
Navajo National Monument – Ancient ruins.
Window Rock – Tribal capitol, tribal museum, library, zoo, etc. Hubbell Trading Post – Founded in 1878 and a National Historic site.
Tuba City, Ariz. – Dinosaur tracks and the Navajo Interactive Museum that tells the Navajo story.
6. Where can I sleep?
Within the Reservation, there are campsites, RV hookups, hotels, and motels in various locations but not everywhere. The larger towns have motels, but not the small towns (communities). You can search and google them online after looking at the maps and reading about them under our Destination section.
Off the Reservation, in nearby border towns, there are many options.
7. Where can I eat and is the food safe?
The food is safe and there are restaurants in all the larger towns (communities). You will also see a lot of roadside stands that sell Navajo food. You can learn more information about the roadside or flea market food stands, as well as their food safety requirements by subscribing to NavajoGuide.com or reading the stories in our publication.
8. How do I know I am buying authentic Navajo arts and crafts?
Read our stories by experts in the Arts & Crafts and Shopping section. There are many well-established trading posts and arts and crafts stores located on and off the Reservation. But you should learn how to buy quality craft and directly from the sources. NavajoGuide.com shows you where to buy.
9. Is it safe to visit the Navajo Reservation?
Yes. In terms of crime, it’s safer here than driving through any city in America. But just in case, “Navajo law enforcement have jurisdiction within the boundaries of Navajo land and roads, but also have jurisdiction on certain areas of the State of New Mexico, Arizona & County highways & roads. In turn, State & County Law Enforcement also have cross jurisdiction in certain areas of the Navajo Nation,” explains the Navajo Nation.
In terms of Covid-19, in May 2023, the Navajo Nation lifted Covid-19 policies, such as, mask wearing requirements. In some places, like health care centers and schools, masks are still required. Some businesses may also require them..
However, in many locations there are no cellular signals. See our story on cell signals in the Tips & Safety section.