Culture, Identity, Bikes: Bringing Bikepacking to the Navajo Nation

Culture. Identity. Bikepacking. All these things contribute to who Jon Yazzie is.

Jon Yazzie is a member of the Navajo Nation. He grew up in Coal Mine Mesa, Ariz., with his mother and grandmother. Later, he went to California for a better education. But Yazzie came back.

“The love I was missing wasn’t actually from my family, but from the earth,” he said. He spent years finding a reconnection to his culture, finding his identity, finding himself.

And then he found the bike.

Yazzie started learning to bikepack in 2013. In 2020, he founded Dzil Ta’ah Adventures — the first bikepacking program for youth on Navajo land. “I found my cultural significance and my heart in the world through a bike,” he said. “And this is what makes me whole.”

This film shares not only Yazzie’s story but also the story of the program he founded — and where it’s headed.

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Mary Murphy
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Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, CO office. She has a degree in English and Journalism, and been writing professionally for over five years. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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