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Betatakin Ruins


A Gathering
©Miles Hecker


In Navajo, Betatakin means "House Built on a Ledge". Betatakin was built in an enormous alcove measuring 452 feet high and 370 feet across between 1260 and 1290AD. Betatakin was constructed of sandstone, mud mortar, and wood. During its heyday it is estimated Betatkin had a maximum population of about 125 people.

Betatakin is easily photographed from an overlook after a short and easy hike of several hundred yards on the Sandal Trail from the visitor center. In the summer months, from May through September, it is possible to take a ranger led hike and visit the ruins closeup. The hike is a strenuous 5-mile round-trip hike and takes 3 to 5 hours using the Tsegi Point Trail. It begins at 7,300 ft. elevation, then loses and regains 700 feet. The above picture was taken at a focal length of 100mm on a 35mm full frame camera.


Very early in the morning on sunny day or anytime on an overcast day.


LENS: 70-200 mm for 35mm or crop sensor cameras from the overlook

LENS: 17-35mm for 35mm or 10-20mm for crop sensor cameras from inside ruins


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Concepts: Length, Yard, Photography, Inch, United States customary units, Imperial units, Photographic lens, Systems of measurement

Entities: focal length, Sandal Trail, Tsegi Point Trail, Miles Hecker, Betatakin, Betatkin

Tags: hike, 5-mile round-trip hike, enormous alcove measuring, Betatakin, Tsegi Point Trail, feet, easy hike, mud mortar, Sandal Trail, House Built, maximum population, focal length, ft. elevation, visitor center, Ledge, heyday, overlook, Navajo, sandstone, 35mm, yards, ruins, ranger, morning, wood, Betatkin, people, frame