The Antiquities Act became law in 1906 in significant part to protect ancient American archaeologic sites as well as vast natural areas such as Grand Canyon. The Act gives presidents power to designate and protect these national treasures as National Monuments. Navajo National Monument was created in 1909 by President Howard Taft to protect these remote ruins from further destruction by vandals and souvenir hunters.
The red rocks that make up the geography of this area reflect their color back up to the clouds.
Betatakin cliff dwelling and Keet Seel are two major protected sites in the monument. The surrounding protection also prohibits mineral exploration and extraction. President Trump's removal of similar protection from most of Bears Ears and Grand Escalante National Monuments this week allow mineral extraction such as fracking which results in increased seismic activity which will destroy nearby ruins.
The pinyon pine nuts were a significant part of the ancient culture that lived here. When we visited, the nuts were ripe. Just outside the park, many people were harvesting in the pinyon forests surrounding the area.
Unfortunately, our short visit did not allow us to reserve a ranger led hike in Betatakin as the people in this image were enjoying.