Learn more about in-home care options for your loved ones

Given the choice, most of us want to stay in our homes. Sometimes, people need help to remain at home. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

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“Always Best Care has some of the friendliest staff. They are quick to learn & eager to assist. Great schedulers who are on top of managing the schedules & keeping their employees accountable. I sure appreciate all the help they give!”


“I can leave a long review if I wanted to . I can talk about always best cares credentials and talk about mine. But What’s the point of leaving a review if it sounds like everybody else’s. The bottom line is , that they are great at their jobs from the bottom to the top. They have a process and people in place . They keep accountability and are communicative . Ive represented many companies in the past and still do till this day contract with only the best.. If you feel you want to hear more about this company on a deeper level just lmk. Happy Healthy Safe”

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 In-Home Care Monument Valley, UT

How does In-home Senior Care in Monument Valley, UT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

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 Senior Care Monument Valley, UT

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:


How much does a senior's home truly mean to them? A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Monument Valley, UT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living
Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.


For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience
Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Monument Valley, UT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Empowers Seniors

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

Veteran's Benefits
Veteran's Benefits

Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance

Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.

Private Insurance
Private Insurance

Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.

Life Insurance
Life Insurance

Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

Respite Care Monument Valley, UT

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Monument Valley,UT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

 Caregivers Monument Valley, UT

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

An assessment of your senior loved one


An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home


Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

Latest News in Monument Valley, UT

Yee Ha’ólníi Doo welcomes Samantha Holiday as Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgai Community Center Director

Arizona News – CH’ÍHOOTSOOÍ, DINÉTAH, WINDOW ROCK, NAVAJO NATION – Yee Ha’ólníi Doo has welcomed Samantha Holiday to the team as the Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgai Community Center Director.Holiday came aboard on December 19, 2022, and has since been focusing on developing programs addressing Navajo cultural and language preservation, food sovereignty, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy.“I’ve been getting feedback from...

Arizona NewsCH’ÍHOOTSOOÍ, DINÉTAH, WINDOW ROCK, NAVAJO NATION – Yee Ha’ólníi Doo has welcomed Samantha Holiday to the team as the Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgai Community Center Director.

Holiday came aboard on December 19, 2022, and has since been focusing on developing programs addressing Navajo cultural and language preservation, food sovereignty, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy.

“I’ve been getting feedback from the elderly and they are open to becoming involved in teaching language classes and cultural workshops,” she said. “Many people want to volunteer, help plan workshops, and help build curriculum. They’re excited about helping.”

Holiday has also reached out to local NGOs and educators who are working toward similar goals to broaden the expanse of resources and programs that are available throughout the Monument Valley community area.

“Because we’re so rural, many NGOs are open to collaborating with us. With the area being so small and tightly knit, I’ve been able to work with educators in the area who are willing to volunteer to teach workshops,” she said. “Keeping these lines of communication open makes it easier to build ideas that can bridge the gaps between the schools and the community center.”

Regarding language classes, Holiday said one area that she will focus on is situational learning where participants can utilize their knowledge in everyday situations like cooking or grocery shopping.

Because many community members tend to agriculture and livestock, Holiday said she’s also working on developing workshops in these areas.

“We’re working with local advisors and charters to expand and pass on knowledge in these areas,” she said.

Yee Ha’ólníi Doo Interim Director Mary Francis said that Holiday has worked to ensure continuity in services and programs as the community center transitioned from one director to another. Former community center director Shandiin Herrera departed in July 2022.

“We needed someone like Samantha who is from the area and can tap into the local pool of knowledge and expertise to develop curriculums that community members are interested in,” Francis said. “She’s already proven herself to be an asset to the organization and we look forward to the programs that she’s developing.”

Holiday is T?’ízí ?ání, born for Bit’ahnii and she was born and raised in Tse’ Bii’ Ndzisgai (Monument Valley, Utah). She is an alumnus of Southern Utah University and Utah State University and has over 10 years of experience working with non-profit organizations in healthcare, education, and agriculture.

“I believe that with the community center serving as an innovation hub, we can successfully build upon our mission to empower our Navajo people through traditional principles and self-reliance. Ahéhee,” she said.

The Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgai Community Center is located in Monument Valley, Utah, and was initially launched in August 2021.

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The Story Behind Monument Valley's West & East Mitten Buttes: The Most Iconic Buttes In The World

Perhaps nothing better symbolizes the American Southwest than Monument Valley and its iconic scenery, along with its extraordinary collection of buttes. These buttes are located in the present-day Navajo Nation (the largest American Indian reservation). The two most iconic buttes are perhaps East Butte and West Butte. They are fre...

Perhaps nothing better symbolizes the American Southwest than Monument Valley and its iconic scenery, along with its extraordinary collection of buttes. These buttes are located in the present-day Navajo Nation (the largest American Indian reservation). The two most iconic buttes are perhaps East Butte and West Butte. They are free to visit and have long captured the public imagination. They have become ingrained in America's mythic "Wild West" and shape the perception of the Southwest.

The Navajo Nation is bursting with some of the most iconic landscapes of the American Southwest. Not only is it home to Monument Valley, but it is also home to Antelope Canyon (which requires a tour guide to visit). Next time in Arizona, take the time to get the perfect photos of the Mittens. Plan one's trip for the best lighting and photo opportunities.

The History & Formation Of The Mittens & Other Buttes Of Monument Valley

The buttes of Monument Valley tower around 1,000 feet above the desert floor below. According to Navajo legend, they are the carcasses of long-defeated monsters. The buttes are made of red sandstone and are isolated hills with steep sides and a flat top. The buttes have been exposed over the eons as the valley has been eroded.

The rocks of the valley are mostly sedimentary, dating from between the Permian to the mid-Jurassic. In total, they represent around 192 million years of Earth's geologic history. There are three main formations making up the monuments - the Organ Rock Formation (formed from the sediments), the De Chelly Formation (formed from ancient dunes of deserts), and the Moenkopi Formation.

The oldest of the formations show that this area was once submerged as a marine environment. Ancient seas came and went throughout the geologic history of Monument Valley. Additionally, there are some locations with Igneous rocks cropping out. These are the plugs of ancient volcanoes.

The area of Monument Valley spans around 1,100 square miles and is in the four corners area close to the Utah-Arizona state line. While in the area, the Four Corners National Monument is also worth visiting.

Related: How To Visit Canyon De Chelly National Monument On The Navajo Nation

What To Know About West & East Mitten Buttes - The Most Instagrammable Of Monument Valley's Buttes

Perhaps the most iconic of the buttes are the West Mitten Butte, East Mitten Butte, and the Merrick Butte. The East and West Buttes are collectively called the Mittens. When visitors view the mittens from the south, they appear as two giant mittens rising from the desert with their thumbs facing inwards.

The Mittens are only around 0.6 miles from the state line with Utah. West Mitten Butte is 1.1 miles from the Monument Valley Tribal Park's headquarters.

One tip for visiting is to come at the end of March or mid-September and see (for a few days only) the West Mitten shadow appear on East Mitten. It is called the Mitten Shadow and is a magnet for photographers.

For anyone wondering, the difference between a butte and a mesa is the size of the formation. Buttes are wider than they are tall. Mesas are larger and less elevated.

Related: Road Trip Arizona: The Ultimate Drive From One End Of The State To The Other, And What To See On The Way

What To Know About Visiting Monument Valley & The West And East Mittens

People can visit the East and West Mitten Buttes all through the year. While Monument Valley is in the Navajo Nation and in the Navajo equivalent of a national park, it is free for all to visit. The Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park has a restaurant, campground, and visitor center.

West Mitten Butte in Monument Valley

To get to Monument Valley, take Highway 163, linking Utah with Arizona. A great base for exploring Monument Valley is Bluff, Utah - it has a selection of dining and lodging options.

The road to explore Monument Valley is Valley Drive. It is a dirt road and costs $8 per person. Valley Drive is a 17-mile-long scenic route with eleven stopping points for tourists. Visitors can enjoy a self-guided driven tour through Monument Valley on Valley Drive, but a guide is required to visit many of the parts of Monument Valley.

Regardless of what people have seen in the movies, it is forbidden to climb the Mittes and the other buttes. Visitors are requested to respect the religious requests of the Navajo and not climb the monuments. The no-climbing rule is strictly enforced, and the use of drones is also prohibited.

While in Monument Valley, take one's time and see the other famous monuments like Elephant Butte, Totem Pole (the tallest spire in the world), and North Window. After visiting the Navajo Nation, visit Marble Canyon and Navajo Bridge, where the Grand Canyon officially begins.

Topography And Climate Of Monument Valley

Monument ValleyMonument Valley is a valley located in Navajo Tribal Park, across the border of the U.S. states of Arizona and Utah. The ...

Monument Valley

Monument Valley is a valley located in Navajo Tribal Park, across the border of the U.S. states of Arizona and Utah. The Valley features massive rock formations, including hills, cliffs, and buttes. Monument Valley is considered one of the grandest and most photographed attractions globally, exhibiting sandstone masterpieces that reach 1,000 feet in height.

Monument Valley covers a total land area of 12.32 sq miles, with floor elevation between 5,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level. The Valley is characterized by massive sandstone buttes, with the largest towering 1,000 feet above the valley floor and grounds dominated by dry sagebrush. The Valley's buttes are visibly defined with three principal layers, the lowest is The Organ Rock Shale, the middle layer is De Chelly Sandstone, and the highest layer is the Moenkopi Formation topped by Shinarump Conglomerate.

Monument Valley's climate is hot and dry in the summer, with temperatures ranging between 31 to 34 °C. Winters are cold to freezing. The best time to visit Monument Valley is when temperatures are comfortable during the spring and autumn seasons.

Brief History Of Monument Valley

As per geologists' predictions, Monument Valley was formed during the Permian Period as part of a seafloor where residues and sandstone stacked up in layers for millions of years, followed by a series of nature's constructive and damaging activities that happened among the red rock structures and the sandstone towers.

The first recognized humans of the area were the Anasazi Indians, who settled here in 1200 B.C. and sketched pictographs that are still observable today. Later on, Explorers from Mexico and Spain arrived in the 1700s to discover the area and control Navajo invaders, one of the biggest American Indian tribes. In the early 1860s, Kit Carson, supported by Utes, attacked Navajos who escaped to Navajo Mountain and returned to the Valley in 1868. Today, The Monument Valley is home to the Navajo Nation, so it is not officially a national park, as it is operated by the Navajo Parks & Recreation Department.

Habitat And Biodiversity Of The Monument Valley

Unlike the nearby Canyonlands in Utah and the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Monument Valley is one of the six Navajo-owned tribal parks and is still inhabited by Navajos, who are estimated to be between 30 to 100 residents- depending on the season- staying in houses without any infrastructure like water or electricity.

The wildlife in Monument Valley is very minimal, unlike other Colorado Plateau parks nearby. The presence of Navajo tribes who live in this area, with their dogs and sheep, leads to less habitat and discourages the existence of wildlife.

Monument Valley hosts the famous purple sage plant of western lore. Due to the extreme dryness and absence of humidity, only a few trees exist in the Valley, like juniper that show up around the edges of the Valley. However, cliffrose, rabbitbrush, and snakewood can survive when moisture is present.

Top Attractions In Monument Valley

Monument Valley is preserved as a tourism attraction by Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation. Visitors are encouraged to drive a 17-mile dirt ring or set off on the only public hike in the Valley, an easy 3-mile round trail that leads the visitors to Mitten Butte, which is considered a landmark of the American West. Visitors can also tour up-close views of olden cliff houses and natural arcs in remote locations.

Despite the area being isolated with limited services, small towns such as Dennehotso and Kayenta feature eateries and convenience stores that sell road trip supplies. A hotel offers lodging options that display stunning views of the Valley. Moreover, camping and R.V. options in the Valley allow tourists to fully frame themselves with magnificent rock structures and experience a unique sunrise and sunset.

Oljato-Monument Valley Trading Post named an endangered historic site

The National Trust names Oljato Trading Post as one of 11 most endangered places in America.| Updated: 6:59 a.m.The National Trust for Historic Preservation named a San Juan County trading post as one of the 11 most endangered historic sites in America in 2021.According to the trust, which is a nonprofit that works to preserve American history, the Oljato Trading Post is one of the few rem...

The National Trust names Oljato Trading Post as one of 11 most endangered places in America.

| Updated: 6:59 a.m.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation named a San Juan County trading post as one of the 11 most endangered historic sites in America in 2021.

According to the trust, which is a nonprofit that works to preserve American history, the Oljato Trading Post is one of the few remaining historic trading posts for Navajo communities that haven’t been bulldozed or replaced by gas stations.

The Oljato Chapter of Navajo Nation are hoping the designation will bring greater support to raising the $1.3 million project needed to rehabilitate the 1921 structure and give it “new life as a community center and cultural tourist destination.”

“The Oljato Trading Post, a focal point of the Navajo community, celebrates its 100th birthday this year,” said Katherine Malone France, the Chief Preservation Officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in a press release. “What better way to honor this place, which helps tell Utah’s multi-layered history, than by preserving and re-activating it under Oljato and Navajo leadership.”

Navajo trading posts were areas of commerce and community hubs that started as early as 1868 at Fort Defiance in Arizona, said Bob McPherson, a retired Utah State University history professor and member of the San Juan County Historical Commission. As more Navajos returned home after the four-year “Long Walk” and internment, they built places to trade their goods. Their resettlement led to the ‘golden age’ of trading posts between 1900-1930.

The traditional Navajo trading post structure was large, with an area for trading, an elevated area to oversee trading, a pawn room for customers to receive extended credit before the seasonal tradings of wool and lambs, and loading areas for wagons to store goods.

“The thing that makes [Oljato] unique is that it was not unique,” said McPherson, who lives in Blanding and is involved with the restoration project. “Of those 260 posts that existed … you probably have maybe half-a-dozen on and off the reservation that are still in the same form that they were during the heyday of trading.”

Oljato Trading Post in 1938. Photo from the Division of State History's historic photo collection.

During the 2021 legislative session, Utah Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, requested funding for infrastructure improvements for the trading post and the Oljato community. He plans to make the same request in 2022. In his proposal, he stated that the community of Oljato, San Juan County and the state of Utah would see a “return on investment” in visitation and tourism taxes as the project developed, with the bigger impact being the “cultural capital” it would bring to “one of the most underserved areas of the state.”

Although the project did not get funded, Lyman brought a few legislators to see exactly what he was hoping to restore. The restoration could be funded by the state’s allotment under the American Recovery Act, said Lyman, and he says he will find out if it falls under one of the act’s special designations by the legislature’s June 16 interim committee meetings.

“With the [historic trust’s] designation, it raises the profile significantly — at least people understand that I’m not just talking about a pet project, it really is a special artifact that needs to be preserved,” Lyman said. “When you go to the community of Oljato, it’s hard to see that there’s been much investment from the legislature or the state or really anybody else… This is a nice thing to do for a community that has a really apparent, obvious need.”

McPherson said the trading post has received $15,000 from a Washington, D.C., nonprofit organization, and $10,000 from the federal government in Certified Local Government grants, which help preserve historic places.

“We’re operating on a shoestring. There’s no water in the building, there’s no electricity in the building, there’s nothing … We’re worried about just getting a roof on the building. And there’s one corner, the southeast corner, that is falling down,” McPherson said. “That would be the end goal, to get [the $1.3 million], but right now we’re just desperate to get things [stabilized].”

The trading post restoration project is also working with the Utah State Historic Preservation Office, the Utah Division of Indian Affairs, the Utah Division of State History, the Navajo Nation Historic Preservation Department, and Preservation Utah, according to a press release. For now, McPherson said there is an organization called Friends of Oljato for individuals who would like to donate, which is run by the San Juan Foundation.

Ultimately, McPherson hopes a restored Oljato Trading Post would be owned and operated by local Navajo people, with opportunities to teach tourists more about the culture and for local people to sell their wares.

“We hope it will be an economic exciter for the community that will not only give them financial opportunities, but also reach out to teaching about the culture and showing what Navajo history and culture is all about in that area,” McPherson said. “This is where everything took place — this was a center of the Oljato-Monument Valley Community for a long, long time. This is just an opportunity to really make a difference.”

Why Navajo Mountain, one of Utah’s most remote communities, may become less isolated

Proposed road would boost connections, tourism and jobs in this part of southern Utah.Bluff • The small southern Utah town of Navajo Mountain, one of the most isolated communities in the Lower 48, may soon find a new connection to the state’s highway system if a $110 million project moves forward.The Navajo Mountain Chapter of the Navajo Nation currently has around 500 residents who must drive south through Arizona to ac...

Proposed road would boost connections, tourism and jobs in this part of southern Utah.

Bluff • The small southern Utah town of Navajo Mountain, one of the most isolated communities in the Lower 48, may soon find a new connection to the state’s highway system if a $110 million project moves forward.

The Navajo Mountain Chapter of the Navajo Nation currently has around 500 residents who must drive south through Arizona to access basic services such as a grocery store or laundromat. The community’s center is only 45 miles from Monument Valley but getting there requires a 120-mile drive, and it takes three hours to reach Blanding, San Juan County’s most populous town.

On Thursday, officials the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition hosted Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, Navajo Nation Council Delegate Herman Daniels Jr. and San Juan County representatives to discuss a road proposal that would shorten drive times and to tour part of the proposed route.

“Having the lieutenant governor and county officials see the current road conditions firsthand offers them great insight into the challenges that Navajo people deal with every day,” Nez said in a statement. “Many residents commute through these rocky terrains for long hours each day for basic services and necessities, hauling water for their homes and livestock, and going to school and work.”

He added the road would boost area tourism, bringing in tax revenue and job opportunities.

‘Extreme isolation’

San Juan County Commissioner Willie Grayeyes, who was born on Piute Mesa and has served as a Navajo Mountain Chapter official at various times throughout his career, told RedRock 92.7 last week that Navajo Mountain has too often been passed over for services. A lawsuit against the San Juan School District in the 1990s led to the construction of a high school in the area. Grayeyes, who sits on the board of the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition, said the road project would be immensely beneficial to residents.

“I encourage anybody who has never been to Navajo Mountain to drive the [existing] road,” he said. “They’ll experience the extreme isolation, remoteness.”

The road proposal became a campaign issue in the latest chapter election when some residents of Piute Mesa — a strip of land between Monument Valley and Navajo Mountain that’s home to about a couple dozen families and is currently accessible only by a rough dirt road — expressed concerns about the road construction’s impact on the area’s remote character.

Other residents backed the planned road.

(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

A draft proposal, prepared by Jones and DeMille Engineering, anticipates three phases for the project: a $49 million dirt road connection between Navajo Mountain and Oljato; a $30.2 million dirt spur heading north across the San Juan River to connect to Highway 276 east of Halls Crossing; and, lastly, the paving of both new roads.

The initial phase would shave about 55 miles off the current three-hour, one-way journey from Navajo Mountain to Blanding, likely reducing driving times by 40 minutes.

The connection to Highway 276 would reduce the trip by 13 additional miles, but it would require the construction of a $10.5 million bridge near Clay Hills Crossing on the San Juan River as well as several smaller bridges.

All phases of the project would likely need financial support from the Navajo Nation, Utah and the federal government.

Bringing water to remote areas

On Thursday, the tribal, county and state officials also heard a presentation on new drinking water projects, which are expected to be built, thanks to the passage of the Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act in December.

“[We also want] to develop a water system to serve our remote community,” Grayeyes said.

Residents of Piute Mesa and surrounding areas currently haul water to their homes or rely on deliveries from the nonprofit DigDeep, but the legislation recognizes the Navajo Nation’s right to more water from the Colorado River and provides $220 million in funding for water projects in San Juan County.

“We have to continue working together and meeting on a regular basis to strategize and to make sure that we tap into all available resources,” Nez said, “which may include the American Rescue Plan Act and the Biden-Harris administration’s proposed American Jobs Plan that would provide transportation infrastructure funds. We appreciate Lt. Gov. Henderson for visiting the Navajo Nation, and we look forward to continuing to work with her and Gov. Spencer Cox on water and transportation infrastructure initiatives.”

Zak Podmore is a Report for America corps member and writes about conflict and change in San Juan County for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep him writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by clicking here.


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