The Northwest Region, also known as Indian Country, is home to a significant portion of America's largest Indian reservation, the Navajo Nation, as well as the pueblos of Zuni, Acoma and Laguna. The region hosts the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial held yearly in the city of Gallup. This event draws visitors as well as New Mexico locals for traditional dances, Indian arts and foods, and much more. In addition to annual events like this one and the Northern Navajo Nation Fair, there are many year-round opportunities to experience Native American culture and history in the region. Excursions can include visits to pueblos such as Sky City, Acoma's more than 300-foot high mesatop pueblo, as well as exploration of ruins left by the Ancestral Pueblo people, forebears of contemporary Pueblo Indians. Chaco Culture National Historical Park, along with the Aztec and Salmon ruins, date from the 11th and 12th centruies and give visitors a look at distinctive prehistoric architecture, including historical examples of extremely advanced astronomy, engineering and city planning.
Today's travelers can explore the area surrounding El Morro National Monument and other natural wonders in the region like the Bandera Crater and Ice Caves and two badlands areas: El Malpais National Munument, with its lava flows and towering sandstone arches, and the Bisti Badlands. For extended outdoor exploration, Mount Taylor, an 11,000-foot peak near the city of Grants, is a haven for hikers and campers. Fisherman and boating enthusiasts also flock to Navajo Lake State Park and the adjacent Quality Waters section of the San Juan River, considered the best rainbow trout fishing area in the country.