Navajo Nation Outdoor Recreation

Navajo Nation Offers New Off-Season Outdoor Recreation

monument valley marathon

WINDOW ROCK, AZ. – Towering chestnut rock formations…crisp cool skies and soothing temperatures.
It’s a calming ambiance of Navajo that gives most visitors a sense of peace and a haven of solace. And there is certainly no shortage of stunning attractions and unparalleled scenery here in the heart of the great Southwest.
This is where traditional Navajo culture and echoes of history come to life. In fact, Navajo cultural treasures abound, which mystifies many a traveler.
Navajo tourism studies have revealed that a majority of Navajoland visitors come to the Navajo Nation to see its scenery and often return for a second visit. Visitors can enjoy an array of Navajo tribal parks, national parks, museums, tribal fairs, year-round Navajo cultural events, rodeos, hunting and fishing.
To add to the showcase of Navajo adventures, visitors can now add walking, hiking and running to their list. Within the past several months, the Navajo Nation has been working diligently with various partners to develop new venues and activities for outdoor recreation enthusiasts who specifically enjoy hiking and running.
The Navajo Nation has some of the finest and stellar outdoor hiking and running trails in the world for people who have a love for the outdoors.
Feel the warmth and feel the welcome. Marvel and embrace the timeless beauty of the Navajo people and relaxing atmosphere of Mother Nature.
So take serenity to a whole new level and mark your calendar to participate in two new outdoor events on the northern outskirts of the Navajo Nation. On Saturday, October 29th there will be an event called the Natisaan Trail Ultra, which is a 50-mile marathon that will begin from Navajo Mountain Chapter House to Rainbow Bridge and back.
On Saturday, November 19th, there will be a Monument Valley Marathon at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. The half marathon and full marathon begins at 10 a.m.
On December 8-11th, also a first-time event, there will be a four-state marathon called the Four Corners Quad Keyah Marathon Challenge. On four separate days, runners will run in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado and end at Four Corners Monument. Thursday, December 8th will be Arizona, Friday is Utah, Saturday is Colorado and Sunday is New Mexico. For information about these hiking and running events, contact
The Navajo Nation is also home to a new hiking and running trail called the Navajo Nation Museum Trail in Window Rock, Arizona. The trail begins from the Navajo Nation Museum and heads north and ends at the Window Rock Navajo Tribal Veterans Memorial Park.

Monument Valley Marathon

2015 Monument Valley
Marathon and Half0-0park-1

Saturday, December 12, 2015  beginning at 10 a.m

MONUMENT VALLEY – Winter time paradise.
When Mother Nature segues from summer to winter, it is a time for unparalleled
extravaganza for people who enjoy life on the mild side.

And for serious outdoor winter enthusiasts, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is
definitely the place to be.
No matter what kind of blanket Mother Nature covers the valley of fiery red rock
formations here in December, Monument Navajo Tribal Park will ablaze with excitement.

Yawning canyon walls will awaken as runners from throughout the world will gather for
the very first time to participate in a marathon, half marathon and relay here on the northern outskirts of the Navajo Nation on Saturday, December 12th beginning at 10 a.m. Runners will be able to see one of the world’s finest natural master pieces as they immerse themselves in the
tranquil and rustic charm of Navajoland.

Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department Manager Martin L. Begaye, explained,
“We are very excited to bring a new event to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in
December. We are very fortunate to attract many worldwide visitors to our parks between the
spring and fall months; however, it has always been a challenge to attract tourists to our parks
during the winter months.”

After months of planning with various different entities, Begaye said the Department is
pleased to announce running as a new venue for outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

“Many of our visitors enjoy taking photos of our tribal parks, but there are more and
more visitors who want to experience our parks by venturing in some sort of outdoor activity,”
Begaye stated. “We want to enrich their memories of the Navajo Nation and let them know that
we are a year-round tourism destination.”

The inaugural event will include a marathon, half marathon and relay. According to Tom
Riggenbach who is the CEO of and marathon organizer, the marathon and half
marathon will be competitive while the relay will be non-competitive and have few strict
guidelines. The course will be dirt road, which includes a 400-foot climb in the final couple of
miles of the race.

Riggenbach stated, “I know of many runners from afar who are willing to participate in
this place of timeless beauty. There is truly a sense of peace and calm when you run on the
Navajo Nation. There are many runners who are looking forward to this much anticipated

The marathon event was the brainchild of Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez who is
an avid runner and a strong advocate of living healthy.

“Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and I want our people to live long healthy lives
and one way of achieving that goal is through physical exercise such as running. Not only do we
want more visitors to embrace our unique Navajo culture and our land of enchantment, but we
also want our own Navajo people to visit our tribal parks. The marathons provide a great
opportunity for the Navajo people and our visitors to see our beautiful parks.”

Avid runners Nez and Riggenbach both echoed that many runners serve as an inspiration
to others and every runner is a winner.
The coveted event is a collaborated effort between the Navajo Nation Parks andRecreation Department, the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President, the Navajo Nation Division of Health, and, which is an entity that promotes healthy living for the youth.

The Annual Monument Valley December event will also include hot air balloons that will
grace the crisp blue skies on December 11-13

The balloon launches will be held from 7 a.m. to
9 a.m. with evening glows at the Monument Valley Welcome Center on December 11 and in Kayenta on December 12th.

For more information about how to register for the marathon, contact Riggenbach at or He can also be reached at (928) 429-0345.

To Register click Here

Individuals who want to obtain information about the hot air balloon event can contact
the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department at (928) 871-6647 or via their website at

Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources Administration P.O. Box 9000 Window Rock, Arizona 86515 (928) 871-6592 & 6593


Navajo Half Marathon in 5k fun run walk June 3

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Window Rock Sports Center
Fairgrounds Window Rock, AZ

6 am 5K registration
No registration fees free event

Race Course

Window Rock, AZ TO Fort Defiance, AZ
All dirt roads rolling hills and sand areas.
13.1 miles half marathon 3.1 mile 5k
Elevation 6.900


All Indian basketball men’s tournament

May 31 to June 3
Navajo Nation Fairgrounds
Window Rock, AZ

16 teams. Double elimination bracket with know if necessary game.
$250 entry fee. $175 to secure a spot on the bracket.
Money orders only, payable to navajo nation.
Deadline May 29 at 5 pm

Navajo Half Marathon in 5k fun run walk

Navajo Half Marathon in 5k fun run walk