Visiting a Native American reservation is something that many people want to do but aren’t sure how to go about it. These reservations are spread across America and can be challenging to find alone. Luckily, there are plenty of online resources for finding the reservation you’re looking for.
Plus, if you have questions or need more information, the staff at most reservations will be happy to help. Visiting Indian Reservations is an underrated thing to do in the United States and generally across the world. There is so much you can learn about the culture and history of Native Americans by visiting their local reservation.
Some of the most famous Native American Indian places are near or on sacred sites. You must make reservations in advance of your visit and come prepared. You will be stepping into respected, cherished native land, so you must respect Indian affairs, customs, and practices.
What to Know Before Visiting an Indian Reservation or Native Land
Are you a traveler looking for an exciting and unique destination in the United States? If so, consider exploring Indian reservations on a tour or guide. While some reservations have casino revenues, most continue to face economic hardships.
Here are some things you should know before you go:
- There are close to 600 different federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and villages.
- There are over 5 million Native Americans in the United States, accounting for 2% of the entire population in the United States. Many Native Americans reside on these reservations.
- The Navajo Nation, which covers three states in the Southwest and encompasses almost all Indian territory, is the largest reservation area and features several amazing landscapes.
- Some tribes do not want visitors. They may even request that you contact their tribal office first. To avoid any trouble, phone ahead to the government agency to find out if and where tourists are allowed.
- Remember that you are a guest while visiting any reservation, and you should respect the people there.
Reservations offer an interesting and unique glimpse into Native American culture. You can learn about their history, observe their traditional ways of life, and experience their art and music.
While it’s important to be respectful and act appropriately when visiting a reservation, it’s most important to learn and meet the tribe members. Plenty of activities are available for visitors, so be sure to explore all the reservation has to offer.
If you’re interested in visiting a reservation, be sure to do your research first. Each area is different,; only a handful welcome visitors without an appointment or advance notice.
Also, each area has its own set of rules, regulations, and local laws. However, a reservation visit can be an exciting and rewarding experience with proper planning and preparation.
Tourist-Friendly Indian Reservations to Visit
If you’re still not sure where to visit first, here are popular tourist-friendly Native American Reservations open for visits:
1. Navajo Nation, Arizona
The Navajo Nation is located in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is the largest Native American Indian reservation in the country, covering over 27,000 square miles. The reservation is home to the Navajo people, known for their traditional jewelry and incredible artwork.
The reservation has several tourist attractions, including Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and the Hubbell Trading Post.
Most of these are Navajo Owned so you can only visit on guided tours with a native guide. To get here, fly to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport or Flagstaff Pulliam Airport. You can rent a car or take a bus to the reservation.
When visiting the Navajo Nation, it’s important to find a place to stay that is close to the reservation. Several hotels and resorts are in nearby towns, such as Flagstaff, Winslow, and Holbrook. Here are some of the best places to stay if you are planning a multi-day visit:
- The Hampton Inn & Suites Flagstaff is just minutes from the Navajo Nation’s entrance. The hotel offers complimentary breakfast, WiFi, and parking.
- The Best Western Inn of Winslow is close to the reservation and offers free breakfast, WiFi, and parking.
- For a more luxurious stay, check out The Lodge at Sedona. This resort is in Sedona, Arizona, and offers beautiful views of the red rocks. The lodge has a spa, restaurant, and bar.
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2. Havasupai Indian Reservation, Arizona
It’s known for its red rock walls and clear blue waters; however, it’s incredibly sacred to its people. You can’t hike or camp at the reservation without reservations with the tribe.
If you plan on visiting Havasupai, expect to spend around $150 camping in the area. To prepare for that kind of trip, read our guide on family camping vacations in the United States.
Getting to Havasupai Indian Reservation is no easy task. The closest airport is Flagstaff, Arizona, about a 2.5-hour drive from the reservation.
From there, you’ll need to take a taxi or shuttle to the village of Supai, located at the bottom of the canyon. There’s no public transportation available in Supai, so you’ll have to rely on taxis or your vehicle. The only other option is to hike in, which can take 8 to 10 hours. If you’re not up for a strenuous hike, be prepared for a long journey.
See Related: Best Day Trips from Phoenix, Arizona
3. The Blackfeet Reservation, Montana
If you’re looking for an exciting and unique travel destination, check out the Blackfeet Nation. The Blackfeet Nation is a Native American reservation located in Montana. The reservation is home to the Blackfoot people, descendants of the Siksika, Kainai, and Piegan Blackfoot tribes.
Today, the Blackfeet Nation is home to around 16,000 people and is one of the most significant reservations in the United States. The Blackfeet Nation is a popular tourist destination thanks to its rich culture and beautiful landscape. Some of the reservation’s most popular attractions include the Glacier National Park and the Browning Museum.
The reservation is also home to several historical sites and cultural centers, which offer visitors a unique glimpse into Native American culture. While you visit, check out these other top places in Montana.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Sedona, Arizona With Kids
4. Seminole Indian Reservation, Florida
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Seminole Nation in Florida. The Seminole reservation in Florida is home to the Billie Swamp Safari, which offers airboat excursions and swamp rides.
You can also stay at a traditional roof-roof home on the reservation and enjoy native storytelling and performances at night. While you’re there, check out Florida’s Space Center and Space Coast.
The A-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum holds an American Indian Art Celebration in the Everglades in honor of its Seminole heritage each November. There will be storytelling, performances, alligator fighting, or vendors selling traditional artistic products. Looking to stay near the Seminole Nation in Florida? Here are a few places to consider:
- Best Western Gateway to the Keys: This hotel is just minutes from the Seminole Nation reservation and offers free Wi-Fi and breakfast. It’s also pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along on your trip!
- Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino: If you’re looking for a little bit of luxury, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is a great option. This hotel offers on-site dining, a spa, and a casino. It’s also close to the reservation, so you can easily visit its attractions.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Lakeland: This hotel is located close to the Florida Polytechnic University, making it an excellent option for those visiting the area for school. It also offers complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi, and an outdoor pool.
5. Metlakatla Indian Community, Alaska
The Metlakatla Indian Community is located on the Annette Islands in Alaska. It is Alaska‘s only official reserve and remains the state’s sole indigenous reservation. From Ketchikan, a ferry or a short flight is required to get to the Metlakatla Community.
The Landing Hotel or Black Bear Inn offers places to stay, or visitors can camp at the Metlakatla Marina. The community is home to the Annette Island Tribe and provides a variety of cultural experiences, including traditional dance performances, handicrafts, and totem pole carving demonstrations.
There are only a few places to eat in Metlakatla. You can visit the Metlakatla Mini-Mart, Munchies, Al’s Hungry Raven, Leask’s Market, and the Shadow Mountain Coffee Stand. If you will be in Metlakatla for more than a day or two, you will want to bring food with you – just be sure to clean up after yourselves.
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6. Crow Creek Indian Reservation, South Dakota
The Crow Creek Indian Reservation is located in central South Dakota and is home to the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe. The reservation welcomes visitors and offers a variety of cultural experiences and essential traditions, including traditional dance performances, handicrafts, and pow-wow celebrations.
The tribe’s pow-wow grounds are a popular tourist destination, and the reservation is also home to the Crow Creek Cultural Center, which showcases the tribe’s history and culture. If you’re looking to visit the Crow Creek Indian Reservation, here are some directions:
- From Rapid City, SD: Take Highway 16 east for about 60 miles until you reach the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe reservation.
- From Pierre, SD: Take Highway 83 south for about 120 miles until you reach the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe reservation.
- From Mitchell, SD: Take Highway 37 east for about 95 miles until you reach the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe reservation.
- From Chamberlain, SD: Take Highway 83 north for about 45 miles until you reach the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe reservation.
There are a few different places to stay near Crow Creek Indian Reservation. The Golden Buffalo Casino Restaurant and Motel are the best places to stay. It offers a variety of rooms, from standard rooms to suites, and it has a casino, restaurant, and lounge on-site.
The Prairie Wind Casino and Hotel is a great choice if you’re looking for a more affordable option. It’s located just minutes from the reservation and offers comfortable rooms and suites at a reasonable price.
If you’re looking to camp near Crow Creek Indian Reservation, the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Campground is a great option. It offers campsites with electrical hookups, as well as showers and restrooms.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
7. Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma
The Cherokee Nation is the largest tribe in the United States, with over 300,000 members. The reservation is in eastern Oklahoma and covers over 14,000 square miles. There are several things to see and do on the Cherokee reservation, from visiting the Cherokee Heritage Center to taking a ride on the Cherokee Nation Rail Runner.
The Cherokee tribe has a long and rich history, dating back to the 15th century. The tribe was originally from the Great Lakes region but was forced to migrate west in the 1830s after the United States government passed the Indian Removal Act.
The Cherokee Nation is a proud and resilient tribe, and they have made a lot of progress in the last few decades with a wholly reconstructed Cherokee Village. Here you can learn several rich traditions about their unique history.
The Visitors Center is located in the town of Tahlequah, Oklahoma. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and free admission. The center has exhibits on the history and culture, and it’s a great place to learn more about this fascinating tribe.
There are several great places to stay nearby. The closest town is Tahlequah, Oklahoma, with several hotels and motels. If you want a more traditional Indian experience, you can stay in one of the Cherokee’s many tribal lodges. There are also several campgrounds in the area, so you can camp out under the stars and enjoy the peace of the Cherokee Indian Reservation.
8. Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico
The Pueblo of Laguna is a federally recognized tribe in New Mexico. The area is home to over 6,000 members and covers over 100,000 acres. The reservation is known for its stunning vistas and many cultural attractions, including the Laguna Pueblo Cultural Center.
The Pueblo of Laguna is located in the southwestern part of New Mexico. The closest major city is Albuquerque, which is about 60 miles away. If you drive to the Pueblo of Laguna, take Interstate 40 West to exit 161. Head south on NM-522 for about 18 miles. There are also a few different airports near the Pueblo of Laguna. The closest airport is the Albuquerque International Sunport, about 60 miles away.
There are a few different places to stay near the Pueblo of Laguna. The Resort Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder is the best place to stay. It offers a variety of rooms, from standard rooms to suites, and it has a casino, restaurant, and lounge on-site.
The Prairie Wind Casino and Hotel is a great choice if you’re looking for a more affordable option. It’s located just minutes from the reservation and offers comfortable rooms and suites at a reasonable price.
If you’re looking to camp near Pueblo of Laguna, the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Campground is a great option. It offers campsites with electrical hookups, as well as showers and restrooms.
9. Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming
The Wind River Reservation in Wyoming is the seventh-largest Native American reservation in the United States. The area encompasses over 2 million acres and is home to the Eastern Shoshone and Arapaho tribes. The site is well known for its Absaroka Mountains, Boysen State Park, and Grand Teton National Park.
While visiting, check out the Eastern Shoshone Tribal Cultural Center, Museum of the American West, and St. Stephens Indian Mission & Heritage Center. Plenty of outdoor activities, such as pack trips, ice climbing, camping, dog sledding, and indoor learning experiences, such as arts and crafts, are available. Please read our complete Wyoming value travel vacation guide for more information on things to do in Wyoming.
To get to the Wind River Reservation, fly into Riverton Regional Airport. From there, it’s about a 30-minute drive. A few smaller airports are located within the reservation, such as Dubois Municipal Airport and Fort Washakie Municipal Airport.
If you’re looking to stay near the reservation, there are a few options. The most popular place to stay is the Wind River Hotel and Casino, which offers hotel rooms and casino gaming. A few smaller casinos are on the reservation, such as the Thunderbird Lodge & Trailer Park and the Little Wind Casino.
If you’re looking for a more traditional Native American experience, check out one of the many tribal-owned resorts, such as the K3 Guest Ranch Bed & Breakfast or the White Buffalo Bed & Breakfast.
See Related: Best National Parks to Visit in November
10. Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, North & South Dakota
The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota and South Dakota is the fifth-largest in the United States, offering two million acres. The area is home to several ancient burial mounds and rock art. Chief Sitting Bull, famous for defeating General Custer, is interred at Fort Yates.
The Standing Rock Monument, a natural formation that serves as the reservation’s namesake at Fort Yates, is also located there. The Legacy Trail, which follows Lewis and Clark’s famous journey, is one of the many activities on offer to tourists.
To get to this reservation, take exit 451 off of I-94 and drive north on ND Hwy 1806. The drive is about two hours long, so ensure you have plenty of gas and snacks packed. There are a few different tourist attractions on the reservation, so it’s definitely worth visiting if you’re in the area.
When visiting the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, there are a few places to stay near the tourist attractions. The Prairie Knights Casino and Resort is a great place to stay if you want a casino experience and has over 600 slot machines, table games, and a hotel, spa, and golf course.
If you’re looking for something more rustic, consider camping at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Cedar Ridge Campground. The campground offers RV hookups and primitive camping and is just minutes from the attractions on the reservation.
See Related: How to Pack for a Camping Trip
11. Oneida Nation, New York
Oneida Nation in New York is a fascinating and unique travel destination, so be sure to visit. The Oneida Nation is a fascinating place to visit, as it offers a glimpse into the culture and history of the Oneida people. Many attractions and activities are available here, including museums, art galleries, casinos, and golf courses.
You’ll get to experience the rich culture of the Oneidas first-hand while here. The warm and welcoming people will happily share their traditions and stories with you. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about Native American history and culture.
If you’re interested in visiting the Oneida Nation, plan. The reservation is located in upstate New York, and it can be a little tricky to find. You’ll need to fly into Albany or Syracuse and then rent a car or take a taxi to the reservation.
The best place to stay while visiting the Oneida Nation will depend on your budget and what amenities are essential for you. Many hotels in both cities offer easy access from the airport and proximity to other attractions like museums and art galleries.
If you’re looking for something more unique than just another hotel room, plenty of bed and breakfasts are available in both cities with beautiful views of nearby lakes or forests.
Each reservation has its own unique culture and attractions. The Navajo Nation, for example, is known for its stunning red rock formations and ancient petroglyphs.
The Blackfeet Indian Reservation is home to the beautiful Glacier National Park. At the same time, the Seminole Indian Reservation offers a taste of Florida’s tropical climate, and the North and South Dakota sovereign nation of Standing Rock has several historical sights to see.
Visiting Indian reservations offers visitors a glimpse into the natural beauty we call home and a culture that can provide a life-changing learning experience.
With over 560 federally recognized tribes, there is no shortage of reservations. If you are interested in learning about the history and traditions of Native Americans, then visiting a reservation should be high on your list of travel destinations.
If you’re looking for an attractive, fun, and historical travel destination, check out one of the many significant Native American Indian Reservations. You won’t be disappointed.
What Native American tribes can you visit?
There are many different Native American tribes in the United States, each with its own culture and attractions.
Some popular tourist destinations include the Navajo Nation in Arizona, the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, and the Seminole Nation in Florida. If you’re looking for an exciting and unique travel destination, check out one of America’s Native Indian Reservations.
Can I visit an Indian reservation?
Yes! Indian Reservations are open to the public. Double-check with the specific reservation, as some reservations may be closed due to tribal or government holidays.
Amenities change from one reservation to another, but travelers can typically enjoy visiting historical and cultural sites, recreational activities such as fishing, hiking, and tours of art galleries, along with lots of tastings at local restaurants and shops.
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