Get in Touch
Thanks for contacting us! We'll respond as soon as possible.
 
 

Suggested Articles

 
 
 
Subscribe Pin with Us
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Window Rock, Arizona

#1 No one really lived in the town of Window Rock until 1936.

Flickr User Terry Feuerborn

Flickr User Terry Feuerborn

It was in 1936 that Window Rock was chosen to be the center of the Navajo Central Agency. Window Rock lies within the St. Michael’s Chapter, atop the Defiance Plateau. It lies right along the Arizona/New Mexico border; in fact, a handful of it’s buildings are in New Mexico. After John Collier, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at the time, selected the location, sandstone was brought in from a local quarry and a number of buildings were erected in curved lanes. Among them were a Bureau of Indian Affairs, a Navajo Tribe building, and a Public Health Services building. Even a Navajo Tribal Council House was built in Window Rock itself. It wasn’t until 1961 that the Navajo Tribal Museum and Library was established. Window Rock has it’s own fairgrounds where the Navajo Nation Fair is held, and even has a zoo!

#2 Window Rock was nearly named something else.

Flickr User Tyson Helms

Flickr User Tyson Helms

Before John Collier chose Window Rock as the location for the Navajo Central Agency, the area was known by it’s ceremonal name, “Niʼ Ałníiʼgi,” which translates as “Center of the World.” He wanted to keep this name, but he gained little support for this idea from the rest of the Navajo nation. Instead, they mocked the name, twisting it into “ni ałnííʼgóó,” which translates as “into your middle parts.” Finally, the Navajo nation decided on “tségháhoodzání,” which translates as “perforates rock” after the towns iconic Window Rock.

#3 The actual Window Rock is very important for the Navajo people.

Flickr User Bill Oswald

Flickr User Bill Oswald

Window Rock is north of the other administrative buildings. It is symbolic for the Navajo people, and they incorporate in into their traditional Navajo Water Way Ceremony, which they call “Tóee.” Window Rock is one of only four places Navajo medicine men visit with their woven water jugs to collect water for a ceremony held to celebrate the abundance of rainfall. Window Rock itself is an incredible 200 foot tall sandstone cliff — with a perfect hole in it. It is a perfect natural amphitheater created by many years of erosion. Navajo legend explains that Window Rock was created by wind as the world was created and is the home to a giant serpent. When a huge chunk of stone fell a few years back, the Navajo people cited the widened hole as proof that the serpent was still in residence — and growing!

#4 Over 95% of the people who live in Window Rock are Native American. 

Flickr User Jazzie B

Flickr User Jazzie B

All in all, Window Rock covers just over five square miles. According to the 2010 census, nearly 3,000 people live there! However, it is suggested that when tribal offices are open on weekdays, close to 20,000 people might crowd into the town. Children in this small town go to Window Rock Unified School District, and Tsehootsooi Medical Center welcomes anyone in need of care. The locals treasure not only Window Rock, but a handful of other nearby geological treasures as well. Headed south there are the sandstone monoliths called the Haystacks, which the Navajo call “Tséta’cheéch’ih,” or “Wind Going Through the Rocks.” Just a little more south and you’ll find the “Tséyaató,” or “Spring Under the Rock” that the Navajo people passed by during their “Long Walk” in 1864.

#5 There’s more to do in Window Rock than see it’s namesake!

Flickr User peason24

Flickr User peason24

Tourism is a growing industry for Window Rock. Many tourists choose to stop here because it is close to other attractions like Petrified Forest National Park, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, and Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Of course, many people do come simply to see Window Rock as well — it must be worth it if they named the town after it, right? While you’re in town, be sure to see the Navajo Nation Code Talkers World War II Memorial and explore the National Navajo Museum and Library. In 1997, a new $7 million hogan-style facility was built to house all the of the Navajo artifacts. Swing by any day Monday through Friday and check it out for free! Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park is another attraction where you can spend a day for free as well, checking out native plants and animals like mule deer, cougars, golden eagles, black bears, and bighorn sheep. All in all, they’ve got over fifty species native to the Navajo Nation. More than 40,000 people visit each year! Finally, you can’t miss the Ch’ihootso Indian Market Place. Open Monday through Sunday, it’s a great place to admire authentic wares made by local Hopi and Zuni artists!

Cheyenne Reed

Cheyenne Reed was born and raised in Ohio. She recently relocated to rural Wyoming to try out working at an exclusive guest ranch. She graduated from Kent State University with an English degree, and most enjoys writing about travel. If she has free time, you may run into her anywhere, because she is always itching to explore new places. Her personal motto is, "Any day can be an adventure if you make it one!"

You May Also Like

5 Awesome Things To Do In Santa Fe, New Mexico During Thanksgiving Weekend
5 Awesome Things To Do In Santa Fe, New Mexico During Thanksgiving Weekend

Arguably the best city in New Mexico to celebrate Thanksgiving is Santa Fe. It has everything from fine dining, relaxing spas and resorts, skiing in the mountains, to amazing shows. If you’re wondering what to do this Thanksgiving weekend, maybe you should head on up to Santa Fe. Here are 5 reasons why this is

John GhostJohn GhostNov 22, 2016
7 of the Best Places to Spot a Ghost in New Mexico
7 of the Best Places to Spot a Ghost in New Mexico

How fun is ghost hunting? Extremely fun! One of the best ways to face your mortality is by encountering ghosts who haven’t move on. They will remind you that no one lives forever, although, anyone has the potential to haunt forever. With the Halloween season among us, what better way to celebrate than to experience the

John GhostJohn GhostOct 24, 2016
These 8 New Mexico Urban Legends Are As Scary As Hell!
These 8 New Mexico Urban Legends Are As Scary As Hell!

Every state, city, town, neighborhood, school, or even workplace has their share of urban legends. These are 8 urban legends of New Mexico that are super scary as all hell! 1. La Llorona The famous legend of La Llorona (The Crying Woman), has been told and retold in many ways over the years. La Llorona

John GhostJohn GhostOct 22, 2016
6 Things To Do On Halloween Weekend In New Mexico For Less Than 10 Dollars
6 Things To Do On Halloween Weekend In New Mexico For Less Than 10 Dollars

Halloween is a special time of year. It is a holiday that doesn’t exclude anyone. Regardless of age, gender, race, creed, financial status etc, Halloween is fun for everyone. There are a lot of things to do in New Mexico this Halloween. Here is a list of 6 things you can do for less than

John GhostJohn GhostOct 22, 2016
6 Halloween Events and Activities for Adults in New Mexico
6 Halloween Events and Activities for Adults in New Mexico

As the days grow shorter and nights longer, the season of the witch is among us. Halloween is an amazing time of year for children to embrace their creative sides and trick-or-treat for candy. Families have events every weekend to celebrate the harvest. But it’s not just for the kids and the families. Halloween doesn’t exclude

John GhostJohn GhostOct 22, 2016
The 10 Best Halloween Corn Mazes In Arizona
The 10 Best Halloween Corn Mazes In Arizona

With Halloween a little over a week away and only two weekends for family adventures, time is at hand to get out and celebrate the cooler temperatures of the season. These 10 corn mazes are perfect Halloween fun for the the whole family and a great way to get some exercise. 1. Schnepf Farms Pumpkin

John GhostJohn GhostOct 22, 2016
The Absolute Best Pumpkin Patch In New Mexico to Find Your Perfect Pumpkin Match
The Absolute Best Pumpkin Patch In New Mexico to Find Your Perfect Pumpkin Match

Halloween is upon us with just a little over one week to go. Now is the best time to hit up the pumpkin patches to pick out your perfect gourd. A lot of the pumpkin patches have other activities and fun things to buy. You could buy your pumpkin at the grocery store, but where

John GhostJohn GhostOct 22, 2016
7 of the Best Halloween Events in New Mexico for the Whole Family
7 of the Best Halloween Events in New Mexico for the Whole Family

Halloween is a month-long holiday as far as I’m concerned (actually it’s more like a year-round thing with me), which brings me much pleasure. Not only do I enjoy the magic of the season but so do many children. They have October 31st to go out with friends and family trick-or-treating for candy. But There

John GhostJohn GhostOct 19, 2016
These 7 Star Trails Photographed Over New Mexico Will Mesmerize You
These 7 Star Trails Photographed Over New Mexico Will Mesmerize You

Night photography has produced some of my favorite photos. They are simply beautiful, especially star trails. And what better state is there than New Mexico for such photos? These 7 star trail photos are sure to mesmerize and captivate you. 1. Farmington Lake The clouds were out this night but thin enough for the beautiful

John GhostJohn GhostOct 17, 2016