Tourists visiting Monument Valley. Photo: Courtesy Navajo Nation Tourism Department/DED


By the 1880s, an expansive rail network crisscrossed the American Southwest connecting Dinétah (the Navajo homeland) with a growing market of tourists eager to visit the region and to purchase traditional arts. Today, the Navajo Tourism Department guides visitors to the many historic trading posts that still provide a taste of the region’s history as well as textiles, baskets, jewelry, and other artforms. A growing number of visitors also come to experience the natural wonders of Dinétah, like Tsé Bii’nidzisgai (Monument Valley), Canyon de Chelly, Tsé Bit’a’í (Shiprock), and Antelope Canyon. Diné guides provide hiking, horseback, and Jeep tours of these spectacular landscapes. The Navajo Nation also offers visitors museums, historic sites, and a casino. According to the Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development, the Navajo Nation’s tourism industry has an economic impact of $100 million dollars and supports 3,506 jobs.