The New York Times has named an Arizona monument as one of the top 52 travel destinations for 2024.
The Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni — Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument, was designated as a national monument by the White House in August of 2023, resulting in the protection of roughly 900,000 acres of sacred land around the Grand Canyon. The monument, which honors and conserves thousands of cultural and historic sites to the area’s Native tribes, is “a new reason to visit the southwestern United States,” The New York Times writes in its list of top 2024 travel destinations here.
The Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni — Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument is a place of deep spiritual and sacred significance, as well as natural beauty. The monument’s name is broken down into Baaj Nwaavjo, meaning “where Indigenous peoples roam” in the Havasupai language, and I’tah Kukveni, meaning “our ancestral footprints” in the Hopi language. The name embodies the monument’s role of protecting the ancestral homelands of over a dozen Indigenous tribes, as well as preserving more than 3,000 Native cultural and historic sites.
“This designation, which marks the fifth new national monument established by President Biden, honors Tribal Nations and Indigenous peoples by protecting sacred ancestral places and their historically and scientifically important features, while conserving our public lands, protecting wildlife habitat and clean water, and supporting local economies,” The White House writes in a statement.
By visiting the monument, visitors can honor the indigenous land surrounding the Grand Canyon, as well as support the local Native American community when they book a Colorado River rafting adventure led by certified Hualapai Tribe river guides. The site also offers the chance to witness a multitude of natural wonders, including deep canyons, flowing streams, unique rock formations and diverse wildlife such as the California condor, the largest bird in North America.
To read The New York Times’s complete list of the top 52 travel destinations for 2024, click here.