National Park Service

Southern Colorado Plateau Network (SCPN)

Navajo National Monument (NAVA)

Prehistoric black-on-white pottery sherd<br />(SCPN photo) Alcove of Betatakin Pueblo from overlook<br />(Courtesy Navajo Natural Heritage Program) Vegetation below Betatakin Pueblo<br />(SCPN photo) Landscape view<br />(SCPN photo) Entry to Betatakin Spring<br />(SCPN photo) Canyon view in the Keet Seel Unit<br />(SCPN photo) View of Betatakin Pueblo<br />(SCPN photo) Eastern fence lizard<br />(Courtesy Navajo Natural Heritage Program) Frog pond by Inscription House<br />(Courtesy Navajo Natural Heritage Program) Inscription House Spring<br />(SCPN photo) Water data collection at the spring near Keet Seel<br />(SCPN photo) Pinyon-juniper woodland<br />(Courtesy Navajo Natural Heritage Program) Plants growing along seep in canyon<br />(SCPN photo) Riparian vegetation near spring<br />(SCPN photo) Prairie rattlesnake<br />(Courtesy Navajo Natural Heritage Program) Vegetation in Tsegi Canyon below Betatakin Pueblo<br />(SCPN photo)

Inventory Reports

Monitoring Project Summaries

University of Wyoming Logo
Park Flora (SEINet)
NPS Logo Official Navajo NM Website
SCPN park map
Location of Navajo NM in the Southern Colorado Plateau Network. Click for larger image.

Navajo National Monument is comprised of three units, totaling 360 acres (146 ha) surrounded by Navajo Nation lands in north-central Arizon. It is cooperatively managed by the Navajo Nation and the National Park Service (NPS).

The monument was originally established in 1909 as one unit to protect three exceptionally large and well preserved Ancestral Puebloan dwelling sites, but was redefined three years later as three separate units. The monument headquarters occupy 240 acres (97 ha) of Navajo Nation land under a Memorandum of Understanding between the NPS and the Navajo Nation. The cultural and natural resources of Navajo National Monument are central to the spiritual beliefs of the Hopi, Navajo, San Juan Paiute, and Zuni Tribes.

Navajo NM is on a portion of the Colorado Plateau where uplift and erosion have carved deeply incised canyons into layers of sandstone. The monument supports a diverse array of vegetation communities associated with elevational variation and mesic canyons. Ponderosa pine, mixed conifer, and subalpine forests, and pinyon-juniper woodland are found at higher elevations within the monument, and desert shrublands and grasslands are found at lower elevations. Riparian communities on the canyon bottoms consist of aspen remnants, fir, and oak. Navajo NM supports 4 amphibian, 146 bird, 53 mammal, and 9 reptile species. Both Keet Seel and Inscription House units are located alongside perennial streams, and all three units have seeps and springs associated with them.

The Southern Colorado Plateau Network conducts long-term monitoring of springs in Navajo NM.

Life Zones at Navajo National Monument

Navajo NM ranges in elevation from 5,438 to 7,524 feet (1,658–2,294 m) and spans three life zones: Semi-Desert Grassland/Shrub Steppe, Pinyon-Juniper Woodland, and Ponderosa Pine Forest. Moist, north-facing canyon slopes of the Betatakin Unit also support relict populations of Douglas-fir, typically associated with the Mixed Conifer Forest life zone. The monument experiences an average annual precipitation of 11.8 inches (301 mm).

Navajo Life Zones

For more information, click here to contact us.

⇑ To Top of Page

Last Updated: August 28, 2017 Contact Webmaster