In the northwestern corner of New Mexico, Tsé Bit’a’í (Shiprock) rises from the desert like the sails of a ship against the horizon. This jagged tower of dark volcanic rock can be seen for miles in all directions. Over 20 million years ago, a volcano stood here. As its activity decreased, the magma feeding the volcano hardened into solid rock, crystallizing part of the volcano’s “circulatory system.” Geologists estimate the crater of the volcano sat 3,000 feet above the current land surface. Over eons, the softer overlying rock eroded, exposing the hidden inner workings of the ancient volcano. Shiprock is sacred to the Diné (Navajo) and plays a role in many sacred stories. Navajo Nation law prohibits hiking and climbing here. The town of Shiprock lies about 15 miles away. The largest Diné community on the Navajo Nation, Shiprock is home to the famous Northern Navajo Nation Fair held each fall since 1911.