User
Pass
help
Keet Seel, AZPrint Full | Basic
Directions
Description 32 Triplogs 5 Topics
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 
Mine
0
Friends
0
 Hotevilla
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
Statistics
Difficulty 4    Route Finding
Distance Round Trip 17 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,272 feet
Elevation Gain -987 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,000 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 7-10 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 27
Interest Ruins
Desertboots
Descriptions 8
Routes 0
Photos 114
Trips 14 map ( 68 miles )
Age
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Photos
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
32  2014-06-21 oshnnsun
36  2014-05-30 IsAli
7  2013-06-15 Lucyan
90  2013-06-01 desertgirl
46  2012-08-04 Darth Stiller
38  2012-08-04 Al_HikesAZ
25  2012-06-20
 Keet Seel etc
 MtnBart01
10  2012-05-31 JuanJaimeiii
11  2012-05-31 joe bartels
52  2011-06-18 wallyfrack
33  2011-06-18 uphill junkie
39  2011-06-11 bknorby
Page 1,  2
Large Profile
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Radar
NPS Navajo NM
Reservation Navajo Nation
Backpack - Yes
Seasons - Late Spring to Early Autumn
Dogs not allowed
Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.0  Betatakin
0.1  Sandal Trail - Betatakin Overlook
0.6  Navajo National Monument Campground
7.8  Point 6,919 near Marsh Pass
9.9  Skeleton Mesa
15.0  Black Mesa 8,168 - Navajo County HP
[ View More! ]
Culture
     Anasazi Axes
     Black Mesa Black-on-White
     Inscriptions
     Kayenta Anasazi Building - Unk
     Kayenta Anasazi Dwelling
     Kayenta Anasazi Kiva
     Kayenta Anasazi Storage Buildi
     Kayenta Black-on-White
   Kayenta Polychrome
   Medicine Black-on-Red
     O'Leary Tooled
     Sosi Black-on-White
     Tsegi Orange
   Tsegi Painted Style (Anthropom
     Tsegi Painted Style (Zoomorphi
 Tsegi Red-on-Orange
     Tusayan Black-on-Red
     Tusayan Black-on-White
     Tusayan Corrugated
Space
Fauna
     Coyote
     Wild horse
Space
Flora
     Arizona Rose*
     Banana Yucca
     Bee Spiderflower
     Corn
     Desert Globemallow
     Douglas-Fir
     Dune Primrose
     Gambel Oak*
     Prickly Pear
     Soaptree Yucca
     Sweet Sand Verbena
     Tufted Evening Primrose
     Western Spiderwort
     Wood's Rose*
Space
Geology
     Navajo Sandstone

Difficult but worth it
by Desertboots

Mobile Version
We did Keet Seel in June of 2000. It was an over night backpacking trip and very, very strenuous. We camped out the first night at Navajo National Monument. There is a great little campground there with drinking water and picnic tables. One of my friends has a large truck with a nice camper, but it only will sleep two adults. I drew the short straw and had to sleep outside like a dog. Silly me, I left a bag of chips in the tent with me and a mouse kept tryng to gain access into my tent all night. I didn't get very much sleep that night and spent the rest of the trip thinking I had Hanta Virus. There is a trail orientation meeting all hikers must attend either in the morning or the afternoon. We got there in time the day before and attended in the afternoon. Our orienteer was a German guy named Dennis. He explained the rules and hazards of the trail, such as quicksand and the treacherous sand dunes from hell on the way down, and consequently, the way back up. You take two steps forward the three back. Also, you must carry in all your water. The water was extremely foul as there were cattle grazing all over the place. Also, even if you could filter the water, there were still traces of heavy metals such as Uranium in the water, so it was undrinkable no matter what. It was advised to not even let the water touch your skin. You had to drop 1,200 down a sheer wall of hell into the canyon and then walk along a stream bed for nearly 8 miles. Our packs were loaded with water and very heavy on the way in. That made the stream crossing challenging with the quicksand and all. I was glad to have water proof backpacking boots. My feet stayed nice and dry.

We decided to stay in the river the whole time even though there is a side trail to take if there is too much flooding. You have to climb up two waterfalls, then back up an embankment. We stuck to the water and felt we were lost at one point and my friends went on ahead of me. I started whining out loud thinking there was no one around and one friend came back to me just in time to hear me say 'I hate this f****** trail!'.

We finally reached the campground and pitched camp. You had to walk another half mile to the meeting place to go up into the ruins. It's ranger led, so they wait for all visitors to get there. They only allow 20 per day.

The ruins were spectacular. It's probably the largest, best preserved Anasazi ruin in the country. Our guide was a National Park Service ranger, a Navajo woman named Shannon. We had to climb a 60 foot ladder to get up to the ruins, and I was petrified the whole way as I have sort of a little fear of climbing ladders. But, if I wanted in the ruins, I had to get over it and just go. So I did. Shannon climbed the ladder without using her hands on the rungs, she just went like they were stairs! I was impressed.

The ruins were large enough to hold about 100 people. Part of the ruin was older than the rest but it all dated to about 900 years ago. There were still corn cobs scattered about, I was surprised they could last that long, but I guess they're woody and there were wooden beams etc still there. That and bits of sandals made from Yucca plant fibers. There was a lot of broken pottery and that's where the ruin gets it's name, Keet Seel. It's a Navajo expression meaning broken pottery. Shannon spoke her native Navajo, as well as English and Spanish.

We camped the night in the little oak grove on one of the stream banks. They had it fenced off so the cows couldn't get in, I was happy about that. We didn't want to waste any of our precious water, so it was amusing to wash up in a teaspoon full of water. There are compost toilets though, and that was a blessing.

Then the trip out. For most of the way, we walked downstream so it was easy. Then came the bottom of the cliff. The Cliffs of Insanity! It was the most difficult thing I've ever done physically. The sand dunes were the worst. Ever tried to go uphill in deep sand carrying a heavy pack?? Not easy. Then there were rocky switchbacks going up the side of the cliff. Steeper than steep. I swore if I got out alive I would never go back.

Once we got to the top there was another mile back to the parking lot. There was an auxilliary parking lot at the top, but no one was allowed to park there. One of my comrades had gone ahead, and the other got to talking to a ranger who was coming up when we were and I was just dragging behind thinking I was going to die. There was another group hiking out about when we were, a man, his wife and a friend of theirs. The husband got out fast, he was a strong hiker and was waiting for them at the first parking lot. I begged for a ride back to the main parking area as I didn't think I could make it. It was another mile and all uphill!! No way, at that point. He graciously gave us a lift back to the truck where our friend was waiting. He even gave me an ice cold Snapple raspberry iced tea. I could have kissed him full on the lips if his wife weren't there!!

It was a great experience however exhausting. One of those things you can think back on when you're faced with a challenge and use for mental support!

-

Directions Preferred Months Jun Jul Aug - -
Water / Source:None
Preferred Start8 AM Cell Phone SignalNo Sunrise6:08am Sunset6:22pm
Road / VehiclePaved - Car Okay
Fees / Permit
Keet Seel Permits are available by calling 928-672-2700

Directions
Print Version
To hike
From Flagstaff, take 89 towards US 160. Get on US 160 and follow it till you see the signs for Navajo National Monument. Turn there and the trailhead directions can be obtained at the visitor center. You have to book ahead of time by calling Navajo National Monument.
Login for Mapped Driving Directions
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
Member driven since 1996!     Support or

HAZ was created for the love of hiking. Donations keep it online and fund development for future generations.
enjoy hiking & enjoy life


Import/Export to our GPS Editing Cloud App Route Manager


About Books FAQ Go Mobile Shop © 2014 HAZ


Havasu Canyon Trail - Sep 15 2014
I was watching the helicopter make multi-drops of people and supplies when, at one point, a stray horse wandered into the landing field (the gate was open). The guys unloading the supplies chased it around the field until it went back out the gate. Then as it was running up the main drag, another resident must have thought it got loose so he shooed it back into another open gate and back into the field. So now these guys are chasing it around the field again but this time they start pelting it with rocks. The horse was panicking and didn't know where to go. Rocks were being hurled at it from all directions. He ended up falling down after a really hard rock hit and it looked like he broke...
[ read all ]