Monument Valley simply hits otherwise. The red-sand desert ground stretches over 92,000 acres throughout the Utah-Arizona border, dotted with sandstone buttes and grime roads. This area is greatest identified for Monument Valley Tribal Park – a as soon as frequent filming location for previous Western films. You’ve already seen the valley in your TV display screen. It has featured as a backdrop for all of the John Wayne movies, plus classics like Forrest Gump. However there may be extra to the valley than simply beauty. You’ll be able to go to points of interest just like the Navajo Shadehouse Museum and revel in unimaginable mountain climbing trails.
Researching Monument Valley is a lot enjoyable. It is likely one of the most well-known sections of any Arizona street journey and one of many main US street journeys. Between the red-sand surroundings and Hollywood-worthy scenic drive, Monument Valley has wiggled its approach onto thousands and thousands of bucket lists.
Tips on how to Go to Monument Valley
On this information, we’ll cowl all the pieces that you must know with the intention to have a improbable go to. Prepare for an intensive ‘learn how to’ information; by the top of this text, you’ll be well-equipped and raring to go. We’ll train you all about the primary points of interest within the valley, like Elephant Butte and the Wildcat Path. However we’ll additionally present all of the logistics you want, like learn how to get there and when is greatest to go to. Top-of-the-line elements about Monument Valley is its location, so skip to the top should you’d like some insights into combining your journey with different memorable points of interest, just like the Grand Canyon.
Are you prepared? Right here’s what that you must learn about visiting the valley.
What’s Monument Valley? A Fast Introduction
So, what’s Monument Valley? Nicely, this 92,000-acre area is a very lovely space of red-sand desert. The valley sits on the border between Utah and Arizona, with land in each states. It’s most generally known as Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which has a fantastic assortment of sandstone buttes that attracted Hollywood’s consideration. Likelihood is, you’ve seen Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, John Wayne films, or the well-known ‘Run Forrest run’ scene in Forrest Gump.
You’ll be able to drive via the valley on the 17-mile Valley Drive, a year-round accessible tarmacked freeway. Throughout your go to, you could want an off-road car to sort out a dust street or two.
The valley is filled with pink rock formations, and you may e book experiences like guided horseback excursions. It’s also possible to embark on hikes to miss factors like John Ford’s Level or take guided mountain climbing excursions with a Navajo information to peaks like Totem Pole or the West and East Mittens. Most points of interest are off the primary Valley Drive, and there are many designated pull-in locations to admire views of particular rock formations. Or you may cease by the Monument Valley Customer Heart and enquire about guided tour choices.
Tips on how to Get to Monument Valley
So, how do you get to Monument Valley? The best approach is to fly into one of many main cities in Arizona or Utah, renting a automotive to street journey your approach to this distant valley.
Las Vegas and Salt Lake Metropolis are the 2 most famed worldwide airports and round a 7-hour drive from the valley. Flagstaff is one other glorious airport to fly into, solely a 3-hour drive away and ideally situated to mix Monument Valley with the Grand Canyon. You’ll be able to e book home or worldwide flights to one of many airports, hire a automotive, and drive the rest of the way in which to Monument Valley.
Alternatively, you may catch an Amtrak practice to Salt Lake Metropolis or Las Vegas if touring from inside america. This is able to reduce pointless flights and supply extra adventurous, gradual journey. You may then hire a automotive for the rest of the journey.
Studying this, you may spot the recurring issue – automotive rent. You have to journey with somebody with a license should you can’t hire or carry a automotive your self. The valley is likely one of the most distant locations to go to within the US. And also you’ll have to drive if you wish to see it independently. You’ll be able to verify the most effective costs right here on our favourite web site.
With that mentioned, there’s a caveat slash loophole to this. If driving actually isn’t an possibility, you may e book a guided tour of Monument Valley. These excursions are dearer, and also you’ll be restricted in free time, however they’re the proper answer for these with out licenses. You’ll be able to e book Monument Valley day excursions from Flagstaff and from Sedona. Finances round $250-300 for a gaggle tour, together with transfers, and prepare to kick your toes again with a guided tour expertise.
In abstract, your choices to get to the valley are as follows:
- In case you are quick on time and need low cost flights, Fly to Salt Lake Metropolis or Las Vegas after which hire a automotive to drive 7 hours to Monument Valley.
- In case you are quick on time, Fly to Flagstaff after which hire a automotive to drive 3 hours to Monument Valley.
- You probably have loads of time and wish to keep away from flying: Journey by Amtrak to Las Vegas, Grand Junction, or Salt Lake Metropolis after which rent a automotive to drive to Monument Valley in 4.5-7 hours.
- If you happen to aren’t capable of rent a automotive, Fly into Flagstaff and keep there or in Sedona. You’ll be able to then e book a guided tour to Monument Valley on a day journey for between $250 and $300.
Greatest Issues to do in Monument Valley
The sheer scale of issues to do in Monument Valley is awe-inspiring. It’s removed from only a place to drive via and passively gaze on the surroundings, though we gained’t knock road-tripping its 17-mile Valley Drive. Monument Valley has a wow issue that conjures up you to get entangled with outside actions, whether or not mountain climbing to buttes or horse using via Monument Valley Tribal Park.
On this part, we’ll show you how to embrace all the thrill that Monument Valley gives. Prepare for pure points of interest, trails, and sightseeing alternatives. These are the perfect issues to do within the unimaginable valley.
1. Expertise Monument Valley Tribal Park on Horseback
Top-of-the-line methods to expertise Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is undoubtedly on horseback. You’ll be able to drive the loop street, however horses go the place automobiles can’t or aren’t permitted. You’ll be able to e book a 2-hour Monument Valley tour by horseback, getting up near the buttes. We did this and completely liked it. We do suggest you might have slightly horseback expertise, although.
2. Take a Jeep Tour
An effective way to expertise the valley is through jeep. Ebook a jeep tour throughout the desert ground and previous vital sights just like the West Mitten butte. Most excursions final 1.5 hours to three hours. And also you’ll get a hassle-free driving expertise with narrated sightseeing. It is a nice possibility in case you are touring with the household.
3. Navajo Shadehouse Museum
Navajo Shadehouse Museum is a cultural attraction in Monument Valley value visiting. It explains all of the tradition, traditions, beliefs, and historical past of the Navajo tribe, together with issues like how Navajo medication males pray and what hogan properties appear to be. Whereas the museum is small, it gives unimaginable perception into the Navajo Nation. And for the reason that valley is located on Navajo Tribal park land, it’s a must-have addition to your itinerary.
4. Go to West, East, and Merrick Butte
If you would like gorgeous rock formations, West, East, and Merrick Butte are the most effective formations to see up shut. This iconic trio of buttes juts up from the valley ground in lovely pink sandstone. The East and West Buttes stand over 6,000 toes above sea stage and are a dramatic sight to see up shut. It’s unlawful to climb the formations, however you may stroll round their bases.
5. Drive Monument Valley Drive with Picture Stops
We are able to’t point out the attractive Monument Valley Drive. In 17 miles of freeway, you embrace a few of Monument Valley’s iconic landscapes and rock formations. This scenic drive passes Forrest Gump Level, a.okay .a. the well-known Forrest Gump Freeway. The large sandstone buttes additionally appeared in Western films just like the Wayne movies. It’s simply some of the well-known scenic drives within the US. Permit 3-4 hours to finish the drive, relying on how lengthy you need at every cease.
6. Elephant Butte
This lovely butte is famously formed like an elephant and is a wonderful possibility if you wish to see the rock formations outdoors of the usual trio. Once more, climbing is prohibited, however you may stroll to its base and admire the pure landmark. Go to simply earlier than sundown for the most effective views.
7. John Ford’s Level
That is the cash shot overlook. It’s named John Ford’s Level after the American producer and director John Ford. Ford directed tons of flicks, together with a number of that includes John Wayne. John Ford featured this viewpoint in a number of previous American West films. You’ll acknowledge the sweeping views of the buttes and desert panorama.
8. Wildcat Path
Wildcat Path is an roughly 4-mile loop hike that crams in the most effective of Monument Valley’s views on foot. It takes round 2 to three hours and is rated as reasonable issue resulting from sections with thick sand. You’ll be able to simply navigate the path independently you probably have a fundamental health stage. Your efforts shall be rewarded with up-close views of the famed Mitten Buttes and Merrick Butte.
Set off early within the day to keep away from the tough warmth in spring and summer time. Be certain that to carry a digital camera, too, as Wildcat Path is one in every of Monument Valley’s greatest issues to do.
9. Climb Mexican Hat
Whereas climbing isn’t allowed inside the valley, you may skip minutes over the border to climb Mexican Hat. This bizarre-looking sandstone rock appears to be like like a tower with a sombrero on prime – therefore its identify. Mexican Hat is common amongst skilled climbers. In case you are skilled sufficient to sort out medium difficult climbs confidently, you may tackle the Bandito Route, a bolted, clip-up route.
If you happen to aren’t a climber, you may nonetheless go to to see the rock up shut. Plus, you may watch as others sort out the distinctive rock face.
10. North Window Overlook
Lastly, there’s North Window Overlook to go to within the valley. That is sensible in order for you a viewpoint expertise within the valley. North Window Overlook gives an alternate view of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park to John Ford’s Level. It’s situated simply minutes from the Monument Valley Customer Heart and is ideal to expertise at dawn or sundown.
When to Go to Monument Valley
It goes with out saying that summer time is a tougher time to go to the valley. The sky-high temperatures can attain 94 Fahrenheit in July and August, which isn’t conducive to abandon hikes or lengthy drives. Moreover, summer time additionally means floods of crowds. It’s the busiest time of 12 months to go to the valley. So in case you are contemplating visiting in summer time, we suggest shifting to the beginning or finish of the season. It’s principally crowded and sizzling, with fewer parking areas and shared viewpoints.
So, if not summer time, when must you go to the valley? Ideally, it’s best to go to within the fall or spring. Winter can get slightly too chilly, dropping to 25 Fahrenheit generally, so fall and spring are an awesome compromise. September to early November and March to Might are the most effective intervals to expertise the valley. You’ll have delicate temperatures within the higher 70s Fahrenheit and fewer crowds – a win-win.
Remember what time of day you enter the valley, too. Visiting within the shoulder seasons like fall and spring helps to cut back the crowds. However you can even be tactical with what time of day you go to. Early morning is greatest if you wish to spend an entire day within the park, heading to the preferred websites first. In the meantime, should you want to go to just a few websites, late afternoon is an efficient time to dodge the worst of the crowds.
After all, selecting lodging within the valley itself will show you how to get forward of the crowds. You’ll additionally get to tick off dawn and sundown viewpoints from the consolation of your individual house away from house, particularly at locations like The View Lodge and Campground.
The place to Keep in Monument Valley And Surrounding Space
The place to remain in and round Monument Valley is a wonderful query. There’s one vital factor to notice, although. There are minimal lodging choices contained in the park itself. You’ll should e book upfront to remain contained in the park boundaries. There are additionally extra B&B or camping-style lodging choices inside the valley.
Luckily, there are lots of extra choices for these staying simply outdoors the park boundaries. The small city of Kayenta close to the south entrance has a number of inns, and the city of Bluff close to the north entrance additionally has loads of lodging selections.
Staying in Monument Valley
Staying inside Monument Valley’s park boundaries requires pre-planning and advance reserving, however it’s positively nonetheless potential. If you wish to make your expertise much more distinctive, snagging these sought-after lodging reservations is properly value it. You may be bathing in an infinity pool overlooking a fantastic pink rock formation or tenting in a conventional tipi village. Let’s try the highest choices for staying inside the valley.
Goulding’s Lodge is a beautiful property inside Monument Valley and simply one of many main locations to remain. Get your reservations in fast. Visitors get pleasure from an indoor pool and a terrace – from which you’ll truly see the buttes of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. It’s a lovely place to remain and revel in scenic sunsets and sunrises.
Monument Valley Tipi Village
Monument Valley Tipi Village is a fantastic lodging alternative for experiencing conventional tipi and hogan stays in Monument Valley. The village is run as a part of the Navajo Nation and is a superb approach to put money into the local people.
The View Campground/The View Lodge
The View Campground and View Lodge are two adjoining properties in the midst of the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park – essentially the most scenic part of the valley with the dramatic butte surroundings. Every visitor room within the lodge has a balcony to get pleasure from personal dawn and sundown views over the Mitte buttes. And you can even enquire about tenting experiences in conventional tipis.
Staying Outdoors Monument Valley
As we defined, the most effective locations to remain outdoors Monument Valley are Kayenta and Bluff. There’s additionally Mexican Hat, a tiny census-designated place proper on the north entrance with a choice of accommodations. Nonetheless, we wouldn’t suggest staying right here because it lacks services.
This part will have a look at the most effective locations to remain in Kayenta for inn-style lodging and a quiet vibe. Then we’ll have a look at the most effective locations to remain in additional luxurious and touristy Bluff.
Kayenta is the smaller, quieter possibility of the 2 cities. It’s situated close to the south entrance of Arizona. It’s a higher possibility for these desirous to go on day journeys to Arizona points of interest just like the Grand Canyon or Navajo Nationwide Monument. Kayenta has a number of city services, like Amigo Cafe, the Kayenta Recreation Park, and primarily 3-4-star inns.
Wetherill Inn is a modest 2-star property ideally suited for anybody on the lookout for budget-friendly lodging close to Monument Valley. It does have its snug perks, although, together with an indoor heated pool and a continental breakfast.
Hampton Inn Kayenta
Hampton Inn Kayenta is a 3-star property, greatest for these wanting a extra mid-range to luxurious possibility. It’s a trendy property with a tasteful desert-color palette that’s good given the explanation to your keep. It has an onsite restaurant, which is handy after an extended day in Monument Valley, and a fitness center and outside pool.
Bluff is barely greater and greatest for many who need a busier base whereas visiting the valley. It has extra luxurious locations, like Bluff Dwellings Resort and Spa. Bluff additionally has a number of points of interest, just like the Twin Rocks Buying and selling Publish, the Bluff Nice Home Museum, and the Sand Island Petroglyphs. It’s situated in Utah, close to the north entrance to Monument Valley.
La Posada Pintada
La Posada Pintada is first up. This 3-star property is gorgeous, with conventional rooms, log cabin options and views over the encompassing pink rock surroundings. A each day continental breakfast is included in your reserving fee. Total, it’s ideally suited for these with a mid-range funds.
Desert Rose Resort & Cabins
Desert Rose Resort & Cabins is as luxurious because it comes. The property has a deluxe indoor pool, an onsite enterprise middle, and thoughtfully embellished rooms that includes conventional stone and wooden particulars. You’ve gotten all of the Bluff services in your doorstep and a base the place you may rejuvenate between sightseeing in Monument Valley.
Bluff Dwellings Resort & Spa
Bluff Dwellings is one other gem in Bluff. The resort has completely glowing opinions and a shocking combination of rooms and suites. The resort is ready inside a bit of rock formations, giving it a distant enchantment regardless of its central Bluff location. As if that wasn’t sufficient, you additionally get an onsite pool, fitness center, and sizzling tub. Plus, there may be an onsite restaurant for these days while you want a fast meal.
Excursions Close to Monument Valley
One of the vital unimaginable issues about visiting Monument Valley is how completely it combines with different bucket listing experiences in Utah and Arizona. As you already know, the valley is located on the Utah-Arizona border, that means it has virtually unbridled entry to a few of the state’s most sought-after locations and excursions.
You may be trekking via Canyonlands or snapping pictures in Arches Nationwide Park. You may head south to spend a number of days across the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Or you may take longer, multi-day detours via Utah to go to Las Vegas. There are tons of excursions and worthy locations close to Monument Valley.
On this part, we’ll introduce you to the most effective of those. Listed here are the highest ten excursions – and multi-day detours – it’s best to mix with a go to to Monument Valley.
1. Goosenecks State Park
Goosenecks State Park is a fantastic park simply north of the valley. The San Juan River splits the park and accommodates over 300 million years of geology. Goosenecks is a superb day journey if you wish to spend a day admiring geological points of interest and canyon river views. Decide a hike from the a number of path choices. You’ll be able to even camp there in a single day if you want.
2. Canyonlands Nationwide Park
Canyonlands Nationwide Park is likely one of the main nationwide parks within the US, with some sensible mountain climbing trails, together with the path to Druid Arch and Lavender Level. You’ll be able to admire loads of viewpoints. There’s the gorgeous Needles District and Inexperienced River Overlook. Canyonlands Nationwide Park is break up into 4 fundamental zones, together with the Island within the Sky mesa.
The nationwide park is just a 3-hour drive from the middle of Monument Valley. It’s best skilled at sundown when the pink rock surroundings is much more lovely.
3. Lifeless Horse State Park
Lifeless Horse State Park is simply over a 2-hour from Bluff, close to the valley’s north entrance. This state park is known for its desert panorama and critically gorgeous canyon surroundings. Whereas it’s adjoined to Canyonlands, it gives a way more intimate expertise, with fewer trails and fewer than 5,400 acres in comparison with almost 340,000 acres.
If you would like a extra bitesize chunk, Lifeless Horse State Park is the proper place to expertise related landscapes with out the size of Canyonlands.
4. Grand Canyon
Who doesn’t wish to see the Grand Canyon? The canyon is a superb expertise so as to add to your Monument Valley itinerary. You’ll be able to go to the canyon in a single day from Monument Valley, taking 4 hours to succeed in a technique. Or you may fly into Flagstaff and spend a number of days visiting the canyon and its surrounding points of interest earlier than driving to Monument Valley. Both approach, you may mix the 2.
5. Go to the 4 Corners Monument
This monument is extraordinary, marking the purpose the place all 4 states – Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado – all converge. The 4 Corners Monument is situated within the Navajo Nation and has its personal customer middle. If you would like a novelty expertise, you may’t beat this monument. In spite of everything, you may say you stood in all 4 states without delay.
It takes round an hour to succeed in Bluff, making it some of the accessible self-guided excursions from the valley.
6. Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is a superb tour to take from Monument Valley. When you’ve spent a few days exploring the valley, you may drive underneath 2 hours to Antelope Canyon – the well-known canyon that appears prefer it has rock waves in its partitions.
Because the canyon is sacred in Navajo tradition, it is important to e book via an organization providing a Navajo information for a guided tour.
7. Mesa Verde Nationwide Park
Mesa Verde Nationwide Park is a superb tour from the valley. It’s most identified for its abundance of Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, most famously Cliff Palace. A go to to Mesa Verde is right for increasing your data of Puebloan historical past after visiting the Navajo Nation. You’ll be able to rapidly drive to Mesa Verde Nationwide Park from Bluff, which takes round 1.5 hours. It’s one in every of Colorado’s greatest nationwide parks and well worth the detour.
8. Arches Nationwide Park
Arches Nationwide Park is a should in case you are visiting Monument Valley. It’s simply too shut by to overlook out on. The park is known as after its dozens of pure arches and is one in every of Utah’s most lovely locations to go to. It’s just below a 2-hour drive from Bluff, close to the valley’s north entrance. And you may get pleasure from gorgeous hikes to see the pure landmarks.
Look into nationwide park passes for a number of parks should you’d like to mix a number of of the nationwide parks close to Monument Valley.
9. Canyon de Chelly Nationwide Monument
This Nationwide Monument is likely one of the greatest areas of pure magnificence inside the Navajo Nation. And as a bonus, it’s simply over an hour’s drive from Kayenta. You’ll be able to take guided excursions, study sacred websites, and go to a cliff dwelling and petroglyphs.
10. Horseshoe Bend
Horseshoe Bend is one other main attraction and tour from the valley. It’s simply over 1.5 hours from Kayenta by automotive by the valley’s south entrance. The park is greatest identified for its dramatic river canyon panorama, that includes a curve within the Colorado River that appears like a horseshoe form.
Whereas there, you may go mountain climbing or boating. Or sightsee different points of interest close to Web page, like Antelope Canyon.
Visiting Monument Valley: FAQs
Are you enthusiastic about visiting Monument Valley? Whether or not you go to Thriller Valley, drive the Monument Valley loop street, or detour to close by Goosenecks State Park, you’ll love seeing the a part of the US. Monument Valley is a tiny part of fiery, red-rock depth. It’s the surroundings of the previous West that generations of individuals grew to like on their TV screens. From a sightseeing perspective, it is likely one of the nation’s most spectacular areas of rock formations. That’s earlier than you even get to the cultural facet of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, with all its historical past of the Navajo individuals.
Earlier than you rush to understand Monument Valley in individual, try these widespread FAQs. These FAQs might give you that further data that transforms your journey.
Why is Monument Valley so well-known?
Hollywood has immortalized Monument Valley. Certain, its tradition and geology would have nonetheless attracted guests even when Hollywood hadn’t scouted it as a film set. Nevertheless, its look in John Wayne movies and blockbusters like Forrest Gump is what has made Monument Valley well-known worldwide.
What city is closest to Monument Valley?
Kayenta is a brilliant shut city to Monument Valley on the Arizona facet of the border. On the Utah facet of the border, Bluff is the closest city to Monument Valley. Bluff has extra vacationer infrastructure, with accommodations, inns, and some points of interest.
Can you continue to drive via Monument Valley?
Sure, Monument Valley is open to drivers. The Monument Valley Loop Highway is open all 12 months spherical, though it does prohibit its hours in winter, usually opening between 8 am and a couple of pm. The Scenic Drive is offered from 6 am till 8 pm in summer time.
Is Monument Valley in Utah or Arizona?
Monument Valley straddles the border, that means it’s formally in each Utah and Arizona, not only one or the opposite. Nevertheless, many of the park falls inside the state boundaries of Arizona.
Monument Valley is outstanding; there’s no doubting that. These 92,000 acres include a lot pure magnificence and tradition. You’ll be able to be taught concerning the Navajo Nation and pay for a guided tour to embrace Monument Valley with the Navajo individuals. You’ll be able to take a street journey via Monument Valley through Freeway 163, passing Forrest Gump Level, Hollywood film scenes, and gorgeous rock formations. Or, you may enterprise out on excursions close by, like visiting Goosenecks State Park, the Grand Canyon, or close by nationwide parks. A go to to Monument Valley is one you gained’t quickly overlook.
You now know all the sensible data needed to prepare a visit to Monument Valley. We hope you might have an exquisite time and encourage you to increase your keep to understand the broader area and its surrounding points of interest. In want of some further inspiration? These are essentially the most gorgeous locations to go to in Arizona. And we have now a whole information on Utah’s ‘Mighty 5’ nationwide parks. Profit from visiting a vacation spot proper on the Utah-Arizona border.