Guided Tours

Ranger Bill Pointing
The park is not offering cliff dwelling tours from October 2019 - April 2020 due to limited staff. Seasonal park rangers will return in May for the 2020 summer season.
Ranger Bill says, "Come join a free tour next year and we'll see you in the canyon in 2020!"

NPS Photo

 
 

*Please note that all visitors must be accompanied by NPS staff when visiting Betatakin and Keet Seel for visitor safety reasons and to protect irreplaceable archaeological and cultural resources. The park does not allow unsupervised visits to both Betatakin and Keet Seel. Visitors may visit Betatakin and Keet Seel by joining scheduled NPS guided hikes between May and September 2020.

Inscription House is closed to the public indefinitely due to its remote location, fragility of the site, and at the requests of local residents with concerns of trespassing and vandalism. Please be respectful of this decision.


Betatakin Cliff Dwelling Tours

Betatakin is CLOSED until May 2020 due to limited staff and cold weather/icy conditions in the canyon.

The park will begin offering Betatakin tours
May 11, 2020. This is the day that seasonal park rangers return to duty.

Until then, the park does not have the staff to offer guided tours. We apologize for any inconveniences.


The tour may be cancelled due to staff availability and/or hazardous weather conditions. It is best to call the visitor center the day before you plan to join a guided tour to check if a tour will be offered.



Keet Seel Tours

KEET SEEL IS CLOSED and will reopen Memorial Day Weekend 2020. The first day available to hike to Keet Seel is May 24, 2020.

The park is currently taking all 2020 Keet Seel reservations by phone call or in person at the visitor center.

Keet Seel is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day because that is when the seasonal park rangers are on duty. Keet Seel is closed all other parts of the year because there is no staff available to be stationed out at Keet Seel when seasonal park rangers are off duty from mid-September to mid-May.

Caution: If you have hip, knee, heart, respiratory problems or recent surgery, please do not attempt any of the guided hikes.

Hike Smart At Navajo (PDF 472 KB)

Betatakin Cliff Dwelling Tour

2020 Betatakin Information (PDF 81KB)

 
Betatakin from the view of the tour.
The Betatakin cliff dwelling tour stops at this vantage point due to rock fall hazard.

NPS Photo

Two (2) free daily guided tours are available at 8:15am and 10:00am MDT (Mountain Daylight Time) from mid-May to mid-September 2020.

Tours may be cancelled due to lack of staff availability and/or hazardous weather conditions. Call the park a few days before your planned visit to verify that a tour is offered.

The hikes use one of two steep trails (a 3 mile roundtrip or a 5 mile roundtrip) depending on which tour you join (see below for tour times and descriptions) and are very strenous. Tours often have a duration of 3-5 hours.

The park observes Daylight Savings Time so our area is ONE HOUR AHEAD of the state of Arizona including Page, Grand Canyon, and Phoenix.


Do not underestimate this hike. We have had people join tours who could not hike all the way to the bottom or had difficulty hiking back out of the canyon. You are putting yourself at risk in an area that is remote and is located an hour drive from the nearest medical facility. If you have any concerns, please contact NPS staff.

Due to rockfall hazard in the alcove, THE BETATAKIN TOURS DO NOT ENTER THE VILLAGE. Rangers give program from a safe distance beneath the village.

 
Looking down Long Canyon
A view of the canyon from Tsegi Point Trail

NPS Photo

8:15 AM Betatakin Tour

The early morning hike uses the Tsegi Point Trail which is a
strenuous 5-mile round-trip trail. Tours usually take 4 to 5 hours.

The trailhead begins at an elevation of 7,300 ft. The hike has an altitude loss and gain of 700 feet (218 meters). The trail is not shaded well so exposure to the heat and sun is unavoidable.

Visitors are required to drive their vehicle to the trailhead.

 
The steep stairs that make up the Aspen Trail.
The Aspen Trail is a switchback with stairs that are steep and strenuous. There are 927 steps from the bottom of the canyon to the visitor center and vice versa.

NPS Photo

10:00AM Betatakin Tour

This tour uses the Aspen Trail which is a steep 3 mile roundtrip trail. Tours often take 3-4 hours.

The trailhead begins at an elevation of 7,300 feet behind the visitor center. The hike has an altitude loss of 700 feet (218 meters) from the visitor center to the bottom of the canyon.

Please be aware that this hike requires hiking a steep 927 step staircase where hand rails are not present at all times. People who are afraid of heights and are not avid hikers/in good physical health/have issues with joints such as knees are not recommended to join tour. Please supervise all young children joining tour.

 
 
A group of visitors on one of the guided Betatakin tours.
A guided group inside the alcove near the Betatakin Cliff Dwelling. This is the location where the Betatakin hike ends so please note that groups do not enter the village area.

NPS Photo

 

Keet Seel Cliff Dwelling Tour

Keet Seel is CLOSED and will reopen May 24, 2020 and close for the 2020 season on September 12, 2020.

The park is currently accepting all Keet Seel permit reservations by phone call or in person at the visitor center.

Keet Seel has limit of 20 hikers per day and group sizes are limited to 10 people.


The hike to Keet Seel is a 17 mile roundtrip backcountry hike and is very strenuous. The hike includes steep canyon switchback trails and sand dunes that are difficult to walk through. Crossing the stream is a common occurrence and can't be avoided. Quicksand may be present during the summer monsoon season (July-August).

This hike is not recommended for children under the age of 10 years old and for people who are not avid hikers, are physically disabled, have joint problems pertaining to knees, and/or any other serious health conditions.

Please note that each day is different on what is available for Keet Seel hikes. Reference the schedule below to see what is offered for certain days of the week.

Thursday-Sunday: Overnight trips and day hikes are allowed.
Monday: Day hikes are allowed. No overnight trips can be booked this day.
Tuesday and Wednesday: Keet Seel is closed to all hikes.

Keet Seel requires a 2 or 3 day visit to our park even if you are planning to do a day hike to Keet Seel. A typical multi-day visit due to hiking to Keet Seel includes:

Day 1: ALL hiker(s) must attend a MANDATORY 3PM permit orientation at the visitor center the day before your scheduled hike. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Note: The orientation is at 3pm MDT because it gives an opportunity for the ranger(s) who is/are conducting the orientation time to return from a morning Betatakin hike and have lunch. The ranger(s) leave for the day at 4pm MDT so that is why we do not offer orientations at an earlier or later time in the day besides the 3pm orientation.

The orientation is the day before a hike to Keet Seel because the park prefers that hikers start on the Keet Seel trail as soon as there is sunlight (no night hiking allowed). All hikers should be on the trail by 8am so groups can hike in the cooler part of the day (early morning/afternoon). These regulations are all set with the visitor safety as prioritiy. We no longer offer the 8am permit orientation on the day of the hike because people tend to show up late for it and/or they are still hanging around the visitor center way after the orientation is concluded even though we told them to start on the trail immediately. Again, this is for the visitor's safety because we do not want hikers on the trail during the hottest part of the day and be exposed to the risk of heat stroke or exhaustion. Thank you for your understanding.

We are often asked if it possible to join a morning Betatakin tour the day of a Keet Seel permit orientation. The answer is yes no matter which tour you join (the 8:15am or 10:00am) because both tours arrive back at the visitor center by 3:00pm in time to attend the orientation.

Day 2: Park and secure your vehicle at the Keet Seel Parking Lot. If you are staying at Canyon View Campground, you may hike from your campsite if you would like. Check if you have your permit (it's your tour ticket) and begin hiking to Keet Seel as soon as there is sunlight. It is mandatory for all hiking groups to leave the trailhead by 8am MDT so they are hiking in the cooler part of the day. Hiking time varies from 3-6 hours one way.

Please note: The park absolutely DOES NOT ALLOW hiking at night and the evening hours because if an accident were to occur that requires medical attention, there would be no staff available to assist. There is also the risk of becoming lost while hiking at night. Nocturnal animals such as mountain lions are also active at night.

Hiker(s) will check in with backcountry ranger upon arrival at Keet Seel. Depending on how many people are hiking to Keet Seel that day, the ranger(s) may already be conducting a tour in the alcove. Please note that up to 5 people per group are allowed into the village at a time. Keet Seel tours range from 1-3 hours depending on group interest, if other groups are waiting, and if the the hikers are on a day trip.

Day hikers: After tour conclusion, it is highly recommended to immediately begin hiking back to the visitor center to avoid hiking in the evening (when no staff is available to assist medical emergencies).

Overnight hikers: After tour conclusion, you may set up camp at the designated campground and hang out within fenced areas for duration of the rest of the day. Please note that we do not allow any exploring outside of fenced areas because the canyon is designated as tribal land and would be considered trespassing which you could be fined or imprisoned for if violated and found guilty.

Day 3: Leave Keet Seel as soon as there is daylight. It is not necessary to notify the backcountry ranger since they will be doing a campground check around 9am to make sure all hikers are on the trail hiking out of the canyon. If you are still at the campground by the time the ranger arrives in the morning, you will be told to leave and start hiking on the trail. This is for your safety so that you are hiking during the cooler parts of the day temperature wise.

The park does not allow morning tours of Keet Seel because the ranger has tasks to complete to prepare for the next set of hikers arriving at Keet Seel.

Upon arrival back at the trailhead, you may check in with the visitor center and notify staff of your return but it is not necessary. The Keet Seel Parking Lot is monitored daily at 5pm to check if hikers arrived back from Keet Seel safely.

If you did not see a concern you have about the Keet Seel Hike listed on this webpage, you may call the visitor center during normal business hours.

Please read the Keet Seel Hiking Information (provided below), check the local weather forecast and call the visitor center for any additional information.

2020 Keet Seel hiking information (PDF 220KB).

 
The ranger station at Keet Seel
The ranger station and the welcome sign at Keet Seel.

NPS Photo

Hikers have the option to do the Keet Seel hike in one day or stay overnight in the designated campground near Keet Seel.

KEET SEEL IS CLOSED ON TUESDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS

Visitors are allowed one OVERNIGHT STAY at the designated campground near Keet Seel from Thursday - Sunday.

Mondays and the last day of the season (September 12, 2020) are for DAY HIKERS ONLY.

 
Inside Keet Seel Alcove
Early morning sunrise in Keet Seel.

NPS Photo

The hike to Keet Seel is strenuous and includes steep canyon switchback trails and sand dunes. Crossing the stream is a common occurence. Quicksand forms during summer monsoon season (July-August).

There is an elevation loss/gain of 1000 feet.

One gallon of water per person per day is recommended. Drinking water from the canyon stream is unsafe.

All Keet Seel hikers should be on the trail and hiking to Keet Seel before 8:00am MDT local time or earlier.



Keet Seel reservations are SUBJECT TO CANCELLATION during severe weather conditions. It is advised to call ahead for trail conditions so that unnecessary trips and disappointments are avoided.

 
A back country ranger in Keet Seel village.
Flat Stanley visiting Keet Seel with a ranger.

NPS Photo

Last updated: February 9, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 7717
Shonto, AZ 86045

Phone:

(928) 672-2700
Navajo National Monument Visitor Center Office Contact

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