Grand Falls in northern Arizona closed to tourists until further notice

Mar 7, 2023, 4:05 AM
(Wikipedia Photo)...
(Wikipedia Photo)
(Wikipedia Photo)

PHOENIX — Members of Navajo Nation voted to close Grand Falls Recreational Area in northern Arizona to tourists, citing the need to steward the land and protect the sacred site.

The closure announced last week is in effect until further notice.

“Please respect the local community’s decision on this matter as it is within their right to steward the land for cultural and preservation purposes, indigenous herbal plants and ecosystem,” Adahiilíní Grand Falls said in a Facebook post

State and federally recognized tribes, however, will be allowed to visit the site, located about 40 miles northeast of Flagstaff, for cultural preservation purposes.

A petition to close Grand Falls said the reasons for the closure include uncontrolled trash from high tourism, the lack of consultation with local residents for tours and the need to ensure safety for the land, livestock and tribal members.

Because the recreational area is located on Navajo Nation land and maintained by the Leupp Chapter House, members of the community will determine the future of Grand Falls.

Grand Falls, sometimes called Chocolate Falls due to its color, stands over 180 feet tall and usually occurs when snow from winter storms melts or during monsoon season.

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Grand Falls in northern Arizona closed to tourists until further notice