The National Park Service has adjusted access and services for visitors at three locations on the Navajo Nation in Arizona.

The Southern Four Corners Group stated in a press release that they have modified operations at Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Chinle, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site in Ganado and Navajo National Monument near Kayenta.

Despite decreases in new cases of COVID-19 for the tribe, the latest order by the health department reinforced the closure of tribal roads to visitors and tourists and continued the closure of parks, recreation sites and points of interest operated by the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department.

Sites operated by the tribe include the Four Corners Monument, Monument Valley Tribal Park and Lake Powell Navajo Park.

“The nation’s roads remain closed to visitors and tourists for the duration of the declared public health emergency, and visitors and tourists are required to refrain from traveling to the Navajo Nation at this time,” the Aug. 16 order states.

SCENIC DRIVE:  Hopi mesas to Canyon de Chelly

Limited reopenings

The Canyon de Chelly National Monument is one of Arizona’s lesser-visited gems. (Photo: Arizona Office of Tourism)

At Canyon de Chelly, the overlooks on the north and south rims have reopened along with restrooms at the welcome center. The picnic area at the visitor center is open but with a limit of 10 people.

The welcome center, backcountry trails and the White House overlook remain closed.

The group continues to work with the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department regarding the Cottonwood Campground, canyon tours and backcountry permits.

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The outdoor grounds and restrooms at the visitor center are now open at Hubbell Trading Post. Remaining closed are the trading post, visitor center and Hubbell Home.

Open at Navajo National Monument are the self-guided trails, picnic area and restrooms at the visitor center. Still closed are the visitor center, campgrounds and backcountry trails.

The Betatakin ruins are seen at the Navajo National Monument west of Kayenta. (Photo: David Wallace/The Republic)

The Southern Four Corners Group manages the three sites under the National Park Service and suspended services in March to comply with the public health emergency order the Navajo Department of Health issued because of the novel coronavirus.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at [email protected]

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