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Window Rock and Indian Route 12, AZ

Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.3 of 5 
30 3 0
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,742 feet
Elevation Gain 330 feet
Accumulated Gain 330 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 3.65
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
4  2017-09-20 AZLumberjack
4  2010-01-23 IsAli
22  2007-07-22 Crzy4AZ
Author Crzy4AZ
author avatar Guides 31
Routes 96
Photos 2,643
Trips 606 map ( 2,188 miles )
Age 49 Female Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Oct, Apr, May, Sep
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:18am - 7:27pm
0 Alternative

Navajo Nation hike/drive
by Crzy4AZ

On a summer road trip to New Mexico and Colorado, we spent time exploring Window Rock and driving along Indian Route 12. At around 6800 feet elevation, the summer temps here are a great relief from the Phoenix heat, and you get great history and views to boot.

We spent the latter half of a rainy day reading the plaques at the Window Rock Tribal Park and Veterans Memorial and returned the following morning to hike with a bright, blue sky. We tried to get a hiking permit from the Navajo Museum Library & Cultural center, but they said we didn't need one for the short walk/hike we had planned. Just FYI, the nearby zoo and botanical gardens were closed when we visited.

If you take the well-worn path behind the restroom facilities, you will find a spur to the right at about a quarter-mile. There's no clear trail after a few hundred feet, but we ran into locals who told us how to get up into the opening of Window Rock. You scamper up the sandstone ledges until you see a stack of rocks (and quite a few beer bottles nearby). My husband and I tried like crazy to hoist ourselves up into the opening like we had seen kids do earlier in the day, but either we didn't have enough nerve or muscle to get up there.

So instead we turned north and climbed up some old hand/foot holds (don't look down!) and had a nice view of Indian Route 12 and the gorgeous red rock scenery. Since most of the surrounding area is private land and off limits to hiking, we were content to spend the rest of the day driving on IR 12 stopping to take in the remarkable terrain. Highlights of the drive: Red Lake, Green Knobs, Wheatfields Lake, Tsaille Butte, Dine College and bookstore, Lukachukai cliffs.

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2007-12-30 Crzy4AZ
    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.

    Permit $$
    Navajo Recreation Permit $5 per person per day, camping $5 per person per day. Study the Permit Details

    Navajo Nation Reservation
    Navajo Permits & Services

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From I-40 East, take Exit 357 for Lupton/Window Rock and follow Indian Route 12 north. Go 26 miles to the intersection with Hwy 264. Go east 2 miles on Hwy 264 to the "city" of Window Rock. Reconnect with IR 12 and go 0.2 miles to the right turn to Window Rock Tribal Park and Veterans Memorial. There are lots of signs for the park and tribal offices.

    To obtain a permit to hike in the area study Permit Details above. Please note pets must be leashed on the reservation at all times, and firearms are not permitted.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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