Navajo Nation – A Haven for Year-Round Adventure


Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez was a proud participant in the First Annual Camp Asaayi Trail Run on November 14, 2015.  He encourages everyone to participate in other upcoming marathons at all of the Navajo Tribal Parks.

MONUMENT VALLEY, UT – Winter time paradise. When Mother Nature segues from summer to winter, it is a time for unparalleled extravaganza for people who enjoy life on the mild side.

And for serious outdoor winter enthusiasts, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is definitely the place to be.

No matter what kind of blanket Mother Nature covers the valley of fiery red rock formations here in December, Monument Navajo Tribal Park will ablaze with excitement.

Yawning canyon walls will awaken as runners from throughout the world will gather for the very first time to participate in a marathon, half marathon and relay here on the northern outskirts of the Navajo Nation on Saturday, December 12th beginning at 10 a.m. Runners will be able to see one of the world’s finest natural master pieces as they immerse themselves in the tranquil and rustic charm of Navajoland.

Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department Manager Martin L. Begaye, explained, “We are very excited to bring a new event to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in December. We are very fortunate to attract many worldwide visitors to our parks between the spring and fall months; however, it has always been a challenge to attract tourists to our parks during the winter months.”

After months of planning with various different entities, Begaye said the Department is pleased to announce running as a new venue for outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

“Many of our visitors enjoy taking photos of our tribal parks, but there are more and more visitors who want to experience our parks by venturing in some sort of outdoor activity,” Begaye stated. “We want to enrich their memories of the Navajo Nation and let them know that we are a year-round tourism destination.”

The inaugural event will include a marathon, half marathon and relay. According to Tom Riggenbach who is the CEO of and marathon organizer, the marathon and half marathon will be competitive while the relay will be non-competitive and have few strict guidelines. The course will be dirt road, which includes a 400-foot climb in the final couple of miles of the race.

Riggenbach stated, “I know of many runners from afar who are willing to participate in this place of timeless beauty. There is truly a sense of peace and calm when you run on the Navajo Nation. There are many runners who are looking forward to this much anticipated event.”

The marathon event was the brainchild of Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez who is an avid runner and a strong advocate of living healthy.

“Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and I want our people to live long healthy lives and one way of achieving that goal is through physical exercise such as running. Not only do we want more visitors to embrace our unique Navajo culture and our land of enchantment, but we also want our own Navajo people to visit our tribal parks. The marathons provide a great opportunity for the Navajo people and our visitors to see our beautiful parks.”

Avid runners Nez and Riggenbach both echoed that many runners serve as an inspiration to others and every runner is a winner.

The coveted event is a collaborated effort between the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department, the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President, the Navajo Nation Division of Health, and, which is an entity that promotes healthy living for the youth.

Annual Monument Valley Balloon Event

The Annual Monument Valley December event will also include hot air balloons that will grace the crisp blue skies on December 11-13th. The balloon launches will be held from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. with evening glows at the Monument Valley Welcome Center on December 11th and in Kayenta on December 12th.

For more information about how to register for the marathon, contact Riggenbach at or He can also be reached at (928) 429-0345.

Individuals who want to obtain information about the hot air balloon event can contact the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department at (928) 871-6647 or via their website at

Download Press Release: Monument Valley Marathon – December 2015

Serenading Our Sacred Animals

WINDOW ROCK, AZ – “Serenading Our Sacred Animals.” That’s the name of an upcoming Navajo culture presentation at the Navajo Nation Museum and Navajo Nation Zoo on Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The public is invited to this free presentation. Anderson Hoskie, presenter. See how animals play a significant role in Navajo culture. Meet in the Navajo Nation Museum lobby area. For more information, call (928) 871-7941

Serenading our sacred animals

Art Contest sponsored by ARTSCO, Inc (due 12/4/15)

Contestants, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: Download Art Contest Rules & Entry Form


1) Complete the Entry Form and submit with your artwork.

2) Contestants’ name and age MUST be written carefully on the back side of the artwork. This step is important, as your entry form and mailing envelope will be separated from your artwork.

3) Your Entry Form should NOT be attached to the artwork. No tape, no staples, no glue, no paper clips!

4) Mail-in entries will NOT be returned to the contestant: MONUMENT VALLEY BALLOON EVENT plans to display the artwork at the ARTSCO, Inc. establishment and will be used as a promotional item.

5) Give your artwork a creative title.

6) Note that Mail-in entries can be any size you wish, and created using any materials.

7) We strongly advise inserting a sturdy piece of cardboard into the package to keep it from getting bent. Write ‘DO NOT BEND’ on the outside of your package, front and back, with large writing.

Snail Mail your entry form and artwork to the following one of the two locations:

Monument Valley Trading Post (Attention: Latonna Atene)
PO Box 360457
Monument Valley, Utah 84536

Sacred Canyon Lodge
PO Box 548
Chinle, AZ 86503
(You can also drop off your artwork at this location)


1) Submitted artwork must be your original creation.

2) No tracing of others’ artwork.

3) The MONUMENT BALLOON EVENT Art Contest ends on December 4, 2015. All entries must be received no later than December 4, 2015.

4) Entries must be submitted using the guidelines stated

5) All contestants will be required to agree to the Art Contest Terms & Conditions in order to enter.

6) Art Theme – Native American Culture and Tradition

7) All contestants must register for this contest by entering their name, email, age, name of school and mailing address, and agreeing to the terms and conditions of the contest.

8) The Art Contest will be judged by a panel of judges appointed by ARTSCO, INC.

9) By entering this Contest, each contestant consents to the use of his/her name, and/or artwork in any merchandise, advertisements, educational materials or publicity carried out or produced by MONUMENT BALLOON EVENT and its advertising and promotional agencies without further notice or compensation. MONUMENT BALLOON EVENT may be publish or decline to publish, or use or decline to use, any submitted artwork at MONUMENT BALLOON EVENT sole discretion. In turn, the contestant still retains the rights to use and publish their artwork.
10) Prizes are as follows:

□ Grand Prize Art Contest Winner will receive $500

□ Sponsor’s Choice will receive $500

□ One Poster Winner will receive $500

□ 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place *Winners in each Grade Level: K – 12

  • lst Prize Art Contest will receive $100.
  • 2nd Prize Art Contest will receive $50.
  • 3ri Prize Art Contest will receive $25.
  • *Note: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prize will be awarded in each Grade Level: K-12


Monument Valley Contest winners will be announced December 11, 2015. Canyon de Chelly Contest winners will be announced December 11, 2015 and also will be acknowledged on the website. Winners will be awarded on December 12, 2015.

11) Selected winning pieces will become the property of ARTSCO, INC. and will not be returned.

12) Navajo Parks & Recreation Department and ARTSCO, INC. assumes no responsibility for lost, stolen, delayed, damaged, illegible, incomplete, postage-due, garbled or misdirected entries or entries that have been submitted through illicit means, or do not conform to or satisfy the Contest Rules or for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any entry to be received or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website, or any combination thereof including any injury or damage to an entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from playing or downloading any material in the contest.

13) The personal data collected for this Contest will not be used for any other purposes unless entrants provide explicit permission as indicated on the entry form.

ARTSCO INC. collects your personal information for the purposes of registration, program evaluation and to keep you informed about The Contest.

14) Art Contest participants must comply with these rules, and will be deemed to have received and understood the rules if they participate in the Contest.

15) Visit to enter the MONUMENT BALLOON EVENT Art Contest, by printing the entry form and submitting your artwork.





Th Navajo Nation’s Veterans Memorial

Window Rock Navajo Tribal Park
Window Rock, AZ – It is more than just your ordinary “service person’s memorial” if you knew the story interlaced with is architectural design you would see that it is indeed something worthwhile to visit and an area every American should pay respect to. Its significance and story is one that can easily measure up to Washington D.C.’s Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, endearingly called “The Wall”.

This park is significant because it was designed and built by the Navajo, it is their “living” Veteran’s Memorial. The idea for the Memorial evolved from within a group of Native Vietnam Veterans, Navajo Code Talker’s, and culturally important, Navajo medicine men. After much deliberation the preliminary sketches and designs for the Memorial were drawn out. The park is in the shape of a medicine wheel. Which to many Native Americans including the Navajo is a primary representation of the four cardinal directions, the four sacred colors, the circle of life, and at the center – the eternal fire.

Design Consultant and Vietnam Veteran Virgil Gatewood worked closely with the Navajo Nation’s Design and Engineering Services in Window Rock, Arizona. The collaboration and coordination was vital in order to get every symbolic aspect of its architecture correct and true to its ultimate meaning and purpose. A major step in the developmental phase was to establish a specific location for the Memorial. Influentially from elderly Navajo medicine men (there is a common supposition about the natural rock formation, Window Rock) it was approved to reside where it is now.

A highlight of the memorial, a favorite that captures the awe of every visitor, are the 16 steel bayonets. The original designs featured glass panels atop and between each bayonet. Each glass pane was to have the name of soldier’s killed in action etched on the surfaces. The projected scenario, as a person walks beneath the pillars the sun light shines through the etched mirror imaged names, “The dead shield the living as they look skyward to forever, as the sun moves, so too do the names onto the earth, the land, then the stone”- author unknown-. As of now the Memorial is somewhat incomplete. Yet it can still resonate the sacredness it was meant to.

The Veteran’s Memorial is an embattled warrior’s catharsis, to their families and loved ones as well, “The Gold Star Mother looks up to see her son’s name float heavenly, then the boy’s given name will be cast across the stretched hands of his mourner. Healing has begun”-author unknown-. Visitors can follow the circular path and feel the spiritual presence it has been consecrated to bestow upon her warriors both past, present and future.

NBC Today Returning to Navajo Nation- Seeking to Break World Record

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         October 28, 2015


WINDOW ROCK, AZ. – NBC Today Show will return to the Navajo Nation in an attempt to break a world record.

And the Navajo Nation hopes that millions of television viewers from throughout the U.S. will capture a glimpse of Navajo culture when NBC Today Show makes its second debut to Navajoland.

NBC Weatherman Al Roker of NBC Television will broadcast his live weather forecast from Four Corners Monument from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. local time on Monday, November 9th.

“We are very excited to return to the Navajo Nation,” said NBC Producer Karen Trosset. “Four Corners Monument was selected because Al Roker needs to do the weather in 50 states and Four Corners Monument allows him to do the weather in four states in the same spot.”

The segment is called Rokerthon is Back, which is one man, 50 states in one week.

Trosset continued, “Al Roker will attempt a Guinness World Record by attempting to report a weather forecast in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in record time.”

The Navajo Nation received world-wide publicity during an event called the Nik Wallenda Skywalk at Little Colorado River Gorge several years ago – NBC aired various stories about the Navajo Nation prior to the event. This will mark the second time NBC will produce a a live broadcast on the Navajo Nation.

Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department Manager Martin L. Begaye, stated, “We are working diligently behind the scenes to ensure that we provide a safe place for the NBC television production crew while they are here on the Navajo Nation. We are also very grateful that NBC selected Four Corners Monument as a place to televise Mr. Roker’s weather forecast. Four Corners Monument is the only place in the country where visitors can stand in four states simultaneously. We look forward to sharing the Navajo culture with the world.”

Due to limited space, the public is encouraged to arrive early. For more information, contact Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department at (928) 871-6647.


Al Roker to broadcast from Four Corners Monument

Traveling Directions to Four Corners Monument

Four Corners Monument is 6 miles north of Teec Nos Pos, Az.
(print Map Below)

four corners map


Navajo Parks Race Series


The Navajo Parks Race Series was conceived in 2015 as a means of promoting community wellness, lifelong fitness and an appreciation of the beautiful lands of the Dine’ Nation. The project was spearheaded by Y.E.S. for Dine’ Bikeyah (NavajoYES), a Navajo Nation based nonprofit, with support from the Office of Navajo President & Vice President, Navajo Parks & Recreation, Division of Natural Resources and the Navajo Division of Health. The events which will include 10K races, arduous trail runs, kids events, ultras, marathons and relays will be held throughout the year, across the Nation in 2015.
September-Navajo Code Talker 29K & 10K
November 14, 2015 – Asaayi Mountain Run
December 12, 2015 – Monument Valley Marathon & Half

For more information about Navajo Race Series, to register for race go to:

Email:  or Call 928-429-0345

Navajo Tribal Parks Established 1964

The Navajo Parks and Recreation Department is one of the oldest programs in the Navajo Nation government.  It was established in 1964 and is charged with the responsibility to the the Navajo Nation’s primary caretaker of special lands set aside for preservation.  The Mission of the Parks and Recreation Department is to wisely manage Navajo parks, monuments and recreation areas for the long-term benefit of the Navajo people and government. The Navajo Nation is comprised of essentially private lands, therefore all non-Navajo visitors must abide by and comply with the laws, regulations and policies promulgated by the Navajo Nation government, including those governing Navajo parks, monuments and recreation areas.