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Rules & Regulations

All areas on the Navajo Nation are closed to non-Navajos unless you have a valid camping, hiking, or backcountry permit issued by Navajo Parks and Recreation Department or other duly delegated tribal authority. Failure to have a permit is considered Trespassing on a Federal Indian Reservation.

DO NOT desecrate Navajo lands and violate the trust of Navajo people by discarding cremated human remains on tribal property. Please respect tribal beliefs.

NO ROCK CLIMBING or BASE JUMPING on Navajo Land. Please abide by the humble religious requests of the Navajo people and do not climb on the Monuments. Navajo law will be strictly enforced on this issue.

Park Rules & Regulations
  • In accordance with the Resources Committee Land Use Policies, a camping fee will be charged per person, per night. In addition, a Backcountry Use Permit is required for hiking, which has a per person fee. Please see our Backcountry Permits page for more information.
  • Stay on designated trails and routes. Cutting switchbacks damages trails and causes erosion and destruction of soil composition. It can take 100 years for soil and vegetation to recover from human impact.
  • A permit is required for fishing any lakes or streams, and also for hunting game on land under the jurisdiction of the Navajo Nation. Permits, fees, and dates can be obtained from Fish & Wildlife Department: P.O. Box 1480, Window Rock, AZ 86515 or call (928) 871-6451.
  • Respect the privacy and customs of the Navajo people. Do not wander across residential areas or disturb property. Obtain permission before taking pictures of the Navajo people.
  • Whatever you pack into the wilderness, you must carry out. Nothing should be left, buried, or burned. Substances such as food scraps and garbage will take years to decompose and wildfires can be started by burning trash.
  • Pets are allowed ONLY if on a leash at all times. The backcountry is open range for livestock.
  • Photographs or video taken for commercial use is prohibited unless accompanied by a valid permit issued by Navajo Parks & Recreation or Navajo Office of Broadcasting Services.
  • Navajo Tribal Code Title 17, Section 1451, prohibits the use of firearms.
  • The Navajo Nation is not responsible for any injuries, accidents, or thefts of personal property during your visit.
  • Fires are permitted only in grills, fireplaces, or similar control devices. No open ground fires. There is always a danger of wildfires.
  • Do not disturb or remove animals, plants, rocks, or artifacts. Tribal Antiquity and federal laws are in effect. Special permits are required from the Navajo Minerals Department and Natural Heritage Program to collect rocks or plants.
  • Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs are prohibited.

Vehicles: The Navajo Nation is not responsible for any theft or accidents during your visit. Parking your vehicles in isolated areas will not be monitored or surveillance. You may however, obtain permission to park your vehicles at local residence. They may request a small fee.

Off-road Travel: Dune buggies, jeeps, 4-wheel drive vehicles and motorcycles are prohibited off established trails and on roads. Unnecessary trails or roads result in erosion to the fragile environment.

Hiking & Camping Rules

The Navajo Nation is comprised of more than 25,000 square miles and offers hikers numerous isolated trails and routes. For the safety of hikers who enter the reservation and for the protection of natural and cultural resources, the Parks and Recreation Department has implemented guidelines for backcountry use.

The trails are not improved or maintained, and are usually marked with rock claims. To reach the trailheads, topographic maps and drives over rough roads are required. Roads can become impassible in wet weather, and conditions can change quickly. Travelers are cautioned to be prepared. To ensure having an enjoyable experience, plan your trip carefully. Most trails are rated strenuous to moderately strenuous, and good physical conditioning is important. Many Navajo families still live on the reservation annually. Please be respectful of homesites and animals in these areas. The terrain is rough, water is scarce and the weather is often extreme in most areas.

In summer, the trails are hot and dry; in winter, elevations make them subject to severe cold and high winds. Due to the quick changes in the weather, be aware of the dangers of flash floods. While this danger is greatest during the summer monsoon season (July through September), flash floods can occur at any time of the year.

General Areas of Trails and Routes

There are a number of trails and routes being used by hikers from the Little Colorado Gorge: from Cameron to the confluence within the Colorado River, Marble Canyon bordering the Navajo Nation from Lee’s Ferry to the confluence of the Little Colorado River, side canyons of the San Juan River bordering the Navajo Reservation from Sand Island to Paiute Farms Wash, and the Rainbow Bridge trails around Navajo Mountain. Navajos consider Navajo Mountain a sacred area, and ascending it is forbidden. Grand Falls area also requires you to have a backcountry permit and is a day use area.

Hiking is allowed in the following areas and requires a Backcountry Hiking & Camping Permit:

  • Rainbow Bridge Trail
  • Little Colorado River
  • Bowl Canyon Recreation Area
  • San Juan River
  • Monument Valley (primitive campsite)

Areas closed to hiking: Recently, the Kaibeto Chapter community has prohibited hiking and camping in the entire area of Upper Kaibeto, Navajo Canyon, Choal Canyon, Kaibeto Creek, Peach Wash, and Butterfly Canyon. Also, the area around the Inscription House community and Tsegi Canyon (Dowozhiebeto and Long Canyons) are closed. These closures are due to trespassing across residential areas. TRESPASSING, ABSENCE OF PERMITS, DISTURBING LIVESTOCK, LITTERING, AND THE POSSIBLE DISTURBANCE OF FRAGILE ARCHAEOLOGICAL RUINS WILL RESULT IN LEGAL ACTION FROM NAVAJO AUTHORITIES.


Due to the isolation of these trails, rescue operations are not readily available. Remember that the majority of hiker fatalities occur with lone hikers. If a hiker is injured, this leaves no one to go for help if you encounter trouble. Beware of potential problems and be prepared to do something about them.

  • Coconino County Sheriff’s Office: 1-800-338-7888
  • Arizona State Patrol: 1-800-525-5555
  • Wahweap-Glen Canyon Recreation Area: (928) 608-6200
  • Navajo Nation Ranger Headquarters: (928) 871-6701
  • Navajo Nation Law Enforcement Offices: 
    • Window Rock District: (928) 871-7544
    • Tuba City District: (928) 283-3111
    • Kayenta District: (928) 697-5600
    • Chinle District: (928) 674-2111

Guided Tours

A permit is required by the Navajo Nation for any person conducting or providing guided tour services of any kind. Contact the department for more information or view the park information on this website by selecting the park on the Tribal Parks page.

Navajo Nation Law (Title 5, Navajo Nation Code 2501 et seq.) as amended, provides for the regulation of tour operators and guide services within the jurisdictional limits of the Navajo Nation. This law gives the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department specific authority to issue reasonable rules and regulations to implement this Act, and which rules and regulations herein are prescribed.

Navajo Nation Parks & Rec
(928) 871-6647

Land Department/Parks & Recreation 48 West Taylor Rd. Bldg #8966, Hwy 264,  St. Michaels, Arizona 86515

Our Mission is to protect, preserve and manage tribal parks, monuments and recreation areas for the perpetual enjoyment and benefit of the Navajo Nation – the spectacular landscapes, buttes, canyons, clean air, diversity of plants and wildlife, and areas of beauty and solitude.