Arizona is a land of many cultures, sharing its border with Mexico and its past with the Native American tribes of the Southwest. In certain parts of the Grand Canyon State, visitors have the option of staying in actual Native American homes from the pre-contact period, with each design telling an interesting story. You can’t get a more authentic travel experience than that.
Here are a few Native American-style homes that visitors can experience on their trip, and where to find them.
The traditional Navajo house is one of the most popular in Arizona. It can be either round, multi-sided, square, or built like a cone, with a doorway facing east to greet the sun. Wooden poles make up the exterior, and sometimes, the roof, letting in a gentle stream of light and air during the summer. In Arizona, the Spider Rock Campground in Canyon de Chelly, located inside the Navajo Nation, offers three different hogans, small, medium, and large, and hogans are also available for lodging at the Simpson’s Trailhandler Tours in Monument Valley. For more upscale stays, travelers can stay in more modern hogans at Shash Dine, which have some present-day conveniences, like hand soap and fresh drinking water.
Using the rock and sediment of the region, many Mexican and Native American tribes used adobe—which means “mudbrick” in Spanish—to build their homes across Arizona. This material is cooler in the summer and retains the heat from the sun in the winter proving to be extremely durable in the arid climate. The material is, in fact, one of the oldest building materials in the world. Outside Tucson, visitors can stay at this adobe canyon casita, overlooking the natural scenery with over four acres at their disposal. With 16-inch thick walls of adobe block, the house happily fits four, providing a comfortable retreat for those looking to step back in time.
The teepee, or tipi, is perhaps the most famous of the Native American homes, as it was used across the country, from the Great Plain tribes, to the tribes of the Canadian Prairies, in America’s Northeast. It is, of course, triangular in shape with lodge poles holding up the fabric or hide. For many tribes, teepees proved useful in all seasons, providing warmth and comfort. Many are still in use today. Arizona’s Monument Valley is home to a number of teepees to stay in.
Before you go anywhere, make sure you check out Kachina House!