Navajo Nation Welcomes Tourists Back to Historical Parks and Monuments — What to Know Before You Visit
The Navajo Nation is reopening parks and businesses on a phased basis, welcoming visitors back to the community's monuments, casinos, and unique attractions.
On Monday, the Navajo Nation entered the "orange" phase of its reopening plan, allowing 50% capacity in most businesses, including in restaurants, casinos, hotels and campgrounds, museums, and parks, according to the community. Mask wearing in public continues to be mandatory.
As part of the plan, several important parks and monuments reopened to tourists, including the Four Corners Monument, Monument Valley Park, and Canyon de Chelly, according to the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation.
"The provisions under the 'Orange Status' are not as stringent for businesses this time around because the data from contact tracers does not show that COVID-19 is being spread in businesses, but rather through social and family gatherings," Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a statement. "We've been in this pandemic for over a year now and we should all know how to protect ourselves. The difference between this time last year and the uprise in cases we are seeing now, is that we have a high percentage of our people vaccinated and our public health experts have provided us with the guidance to reduce the spread of the virus."
While national monuments are reopening, it won't be exactly like it was pre-pandemic. At the historic Hubbell Trading Post, for example, visitors must wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status, and limited activities like hikes and tours are operating, according to the National Park Service.
And anyone who heads to Canyon de Chelly will find limited in-person visitor information and certain hikes off-limits, according to the NPS. However, restrooms, the welcome center, and picnic area remain open.
The phased reopening comes after the Navajo Nation said it opened its roads to visitors and tourists.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.