Small but surprisingly thorough, this museum is an ideal first stop on an exploration of northern Arizona. The recently renovated ethnography exhibit is a model of interpretation, with tribal stories told in the voices of the people themselves. You’ll learn, through state-of-the-art exhibits, about the archaeology, ethnology, geology, biology, and fine arts of the region. The cornerstone of the museum is an exhibit exploring life on the Colorado Plateau from 15,000 b.c. to the present. Among the other displays are a life-size kiva (ceremonial room) and a small but interesting collection of kachinas. The large gift shop is full of contemporary Native American arts and crafts, and during the summer special exhibits and sales focus on Hopi and Navajo arts and crafts.
The museum itself is built of native stone, with a courtyard where vegetation from all six life zones of northern Arizona grows. Outside, a short self-guided nature trail leads through a narrow canyon.