Monument Valley simply hits in another way. The red-sand desert ground stretches over 92,000 acres throughout the Utah-Arizona border, dotted with sandstone buttes and dust roads. This area is finest recognized 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. 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 possibly can go to points of interest just like the Navajo Shadehouse Museum and luxuriate in unbelievable 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 manner onto hundreds of thousands of bucket lists.
The right way to Go to Monument Valley
On this information, we’ll cowl all the pieces it’s worthwhile to know as a way to have a incredible go to. Prepare for an intensive ‘easy methods 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 easy methods to get there and when is finest to go to. Among the best components about Monument Valley is its location, so skip to the top for those who’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 it’s worthwhile to learn about visiting the valley.
What’s Monument Valley? A Fast Introduction
So, what’s Monument Valley? Properly, this 92,000-acre area is a very stunning space of red-sand desert. The valley sits on the border between Utah and Arizona, with land in each states. It’s most often known as Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which has an attractive 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 possibly can drive by way of the valley on the 17-mile Valley Drive, a year-round accessible tarmacked freeway. Throughout your go to, chances are you’ll want an off-road car to sort out a mud street or two.
The valley is filled with crimson rock formations, and you’ll e book experiences like guided horseback excursions. You too can embark on hikes to miss factors like John Ford’s Level or take guided 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 possibly can cease by the Monument Valley Customer Middle and enquire about guided tour choices.
The right way to Get to Monument Valley
So, how do you get to Monument Valley? The best manner is to fly into one of many main cities in Arizona or Utah, renting a automobile 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 wonderful airport to fly into, solely a 3-hour drive away and ideally situated to mix Monument Valley with the Grand Canyon. You possibly can e book home or worldwide flights to one of many airports, hire a automobile, and drive the rest of the way in which to Monument Valley.
Alternatively, you can catch an Amtrak prepare to Salt Lake Metropolis or Las Vegas if touring from inside the USA. This is able to reduce pointless flights and supply extra adventurous, gradual journey. You might then hire a automobile for the rest of the journey.
Studying this, you possibly can spot the recurring issue – automobile rent. You will need to journey with somebody with a license for those who can’t hire or deliver a automobile 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 possibly can examine the very best costs right here on our favourite website.
With that stated, there’s a caveat slash loophole to this. If driving actually isn’t an possibility, you can e book a guided tour of Monument Valley. These excursions are costlier, and also you’ll be restricted in free time, however they’re the right answer for these with out licenses. You possibly can e book Monument Valley day excursions from Flagstaff and from Sedona. Funds round $250-300 for a bunch tour, together with transfers, and prepare to kick your ft again with a guided tour expertise.
In abstract, your choices to get to the valley are as follows:
If you’re brief on time and wish low cost flights, Fly to Salt Lake Metropolis or Las Vegas after which hire a automobile to drive 7 hours to Monument Valley. If you’re brief on time, Fly to Flagstaff after which hire a automobile to drive 3 hours to Monument Valley. If in case you 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 automobile to drive to Monument Valley in 4.5-7 hours. When you aren’t capable of rent a automobile, Fly into Flagstaff and keep there or in Sedona. You possibly can then e book a guided tour to Monument Valley on a day journey for between $250 and $300.
Finest 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 by way of and passively gaze on the surroundings, though we received’t knock road-tripping its 17-mile Valley Drive. Monument Valley has a wow issue that evokes you to get entangled with out of doors actions, whether or not climbing to buttes or horse using by way of Monument Valley Tribal Park.
On this part, we’ll aid you embrace all the thrill that Monument Valley presents. Prepare for pure points of interest, trails, and sightseeing alternatives. These are the perfect issues to do within the unbelievable valley.
1. Expertise Monument Valley Tribal Park on Horseback
Among the best methods to expertise Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is undoubtedly on horseback. You possibly can drive the loop street, however horses go the place automobiles can’t or aren’t permitted. You possibly can e book a 2-hour Monument Valley tour by horseback, getting up near the buttes. We did this and completely cherished it. We do advocate you’ve a bit horseback expertise, although.
2. Take a Jeep Tour
A good way to expertise the valley is through jeep. E book 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. This can be a nice possibility if you’re touring with the household.
3. Navajo Shadehouse Museum
Navajo Shadehouse Museum is a cultural attraction in Monument Valley price 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 houses seem like. Whereas the museum is small, it gives unbelievable perception into the Navajo Nation. And because the 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’d like beautiful rock formations, West, East, and Merrick Butte are the very best formations to see up shut. This iconic trio of buttes juts up from the valley ground in stunning crimson sandstone. The East and West Buttes stand over 6,000 ft above sea degree and are a dramatic sight to see up shut. It’s unlawful to climb the formations, however you possibly can stroll round their bases.
5. Drive Monument Valley Drive with Picture Stops
We will’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.ok .a. the well-known Forrest Gump Freeway. The large sandstone buttes additionally appeared in Western films just like the Wayne movies. It’s simply one 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 stunning 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 illegitimate, however you possibly can stroll to its base and admire the pure landmark. Go to simply earlier than sundown for the very best 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 very best 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 possibly can simply navigate the path independently you probably have a primary health degree. Your efforts can 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 cruel warmth in spring and summer time. Be sure that to deliver a digicam, too, as Wildcat Path is one among Monument Valley’s finest issues to do.
9. Climb Mexican Hat
Whereas climbing isn’t allowed throughout the valley, you possibly can skip minutes over the border to climb Mexican Hat. This bizarre-looking sandstone rock seems to be like a tower with a sombrero on high – therefore its identify. Mexican Hat is fashionable amongst skilled climbers. If you’re skilled sufficient to sort out medium difficult climbs confidently, you possibly can tackle the Bandito Route, a bolted, clip-up route.
When you aren’t a climber, you possibly can nonetheless go to to see the rock up shut. Plus, you possibly can 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 presents an alternate view of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park to John Ford’s Level. It’s situated simply minutes from the Monument Valley Customer Middle 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 if you’re contemplating visiting in summer time, we advocate shifting to the beginning or finish of the season. It’s principally crowded and scorching, 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 a bit too chilly, dropping to 25 Fahrenheit generally, so fall and spring are an ideal compromise. September to early November and March to Might are the very best intervals to expertise the valley. You’ll have gentle temperatures within the higher 70s Fahrenheit and fewer crowds – a win-win.
Be mindful 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 may also be tactical with what time of day you go to. Early morning is finest if you wish to spend a complete day within the park, heading to the most well-liked websites first. In the meantime, for those who want to go to just a few websites, late afternoon is an efficient time to dodge the worst of the crowds.
In fact, selecting lodging within the valley itself will aid you get forward of the crowds. You’ll additionally get to tick off dawn and sundown viewpoints from the consolation of your personal dwelling away from dwelling, particularly at locations like The View Resort 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 essential factor to notice, although. There are minimal lodging choices contained in the park itself. You’ll must e book prematurely to remain contained in the park boundaries. There are additionally extra B&B or camping-style lodging choices throughout the valley.
Thankfully, there are various 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 decisions.
Staying in Monument Valley
Staying inside Monument Valley’s park boundaries requires pre-planning and advance reserving, but it surely’s positively nonetheless attainable. If you wish to make your expertise much more distinctive, snagging these sought-after lodging reservations is effectively price it. You might be bathing in an infinity pool overlooking an attractive crimson rock formation or tenting in a conventional tipi village. Let’s take a look at the highest choices for staying throughout 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. Friends take pleasure in an indoor pool and a terrace – from which you’ll truly see the buttes of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. It’s a stunning place to remain and luxuriate in scenic sunsets and sunrises.
Monument Valley Tipi Village
Monument Valley Tipi Village is an attractive lodging selection for experiencing conventional tipi and hogan stays in Monument Valley. The village is run as a part of the Navajo Nation and is an excellent approach to spend money on the area people.
The View Campground/The View Resort
The View Campground and View Resort are two adjoining properties in the course 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 take pleasure in non-public dawn and sundown views over the Mitte buttes. And you may also enquire about tenting experiences in conventional tipis.
Staying Outdoors Monument Valley
As we defined, the very best 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 collection of lodges. Nonetheless, we wouldn’t advocate staying right here because it lacks services.
This part will take a look at the very best locations to remain in Kayenta for inn-style lodging and a quiet vibe. Then we’ll take a look at the very best 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 eager 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 excellent for anybody searching for budget-friendly lodging close to Monument Valley. It does have its comfy perks, although, together with an indoor heated pool and a continental breakfast.
Hampton Inn Kayenta
Hampton Inn Kayenta is a 3-star property, finest for these wanting a extra mid-range to luxurious possibility. It’s a fashionable property with a tasteful desert-color palette that’s good given the explanation on your keep. It has an onsite restaurant, which is handy after a protracted day in Monument Valley, and a health club and out of doors pool.
Bluff is barely larger and finest for many who desire 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 Put up, 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 crimson rock surroundings. A every day continental breakfast is included in your reserving charge. Total, it’s excellent 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 heart, and thoughtfully adorned rooms that includes conventional stone and wooden particulars. You have got all of the Bluff services in your doorstep and a base the place you possibly can 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 surprising combination of rooms and suites. The resort is ready inside a piece of rock formations, giving it a distant attraction regardless of its central Bluff location. As if that wasn’t sufficient, you additionally get an onsite pool, health club, and scorching tub. Plus, there may be an onsite restaurant for these days if you want a fast meal.
Excursions Close to Monument Valley
One of the unbelievable issues about visiting Monument Valley is how completely it combines with different bucket listing experiences in Utah and Arizona. As you understand, the valley is located on the Utah-Arizona border, which means it has nearly unbridled entry to among the state’s most sought-after locations and excursions.
You might be trekking by way of Canyonlands or snapping photographs in Arches Nationwide Park. You might head south to spend a number of days across the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Or you can take longer, multi-day detours by way of 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 very best of those. Listed below 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 an attractive 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. Choose a hike from the a number of path choices. You possibly can 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 climbing trails, together with the path to Druid Arch and Lavender Level. You possibly can admire loads of viewpoints. There’s the beautiful Needles District and Inexperienced River Overlook. Canyonlands Nationwide Park is cut up into 4 most important zones, together with the Island within the Sky mesa.
The nationwide park is simply a 3-hour drive from the middle of Monument Valley. It’s best skilled at sundown when the crimson rock surroundings is much more stunning.
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 significantly beautiful canyon surroundings. Whereas it’s adjoined to Canyonlands, it presents a way more intimate expertise, with fewer trails and fewer than 5,400 acres in comparison with almost 340,000 acres.
If you’d like a extra bitesize chunk, Lifeless Horse State Park is the right place to expertise comparable 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 possibly can go to the canyon in a single day from Monument Valley, taking 4 hours to achieve a method. Or you possibly can 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 manner, you possibly can 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 heart. If you’d like a novelty expertise, you possibly can’t beat this monument. In spite of everything, you possibly can say you stood in all 4 states directly.
It takes round an hour to achieve Bluff, making it one of the accessible self-guided excursions from the valley.
6. Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is an excellent tour to take from Monument Valley. When you’ve spent a few days exploring the valley, you possibly can drive below 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 by way of an organization providing a Navajo information for a guided tour.
7. Mesa Verde Nationwide Park
Mesa Verde Nationwide Park is an excellent tour from the valley. It’s most recognized for its abundance of Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, most famously Cliff Palace. A go to to Mesa Verde is good for increasing your information of Puebloan historical past after visiting the Navajo Nation. You possibly can rapidly drive to Mesa Verde Nationwide Park from Bluff, which takes round 1.5 hours. It’s one among Colorado’s finest nationwide parks and definitely worth the detour.
8. Arches Nationwide Park
Arches Nationwide Park is a should if you’re visiting Monument Valley. It’s simply too shut by to overlook out on. The park is called after its dozens of pure arches and is one among Utah’s most stunning locations to go to. It’s just below a 2-hour drive from Bluff, close to the valley’s north entrance. And you may take pleasure in beautiful hikes to see the pure landmarks.
Look into nationwide park passes for a number of parks for those who’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 finest areas of pure magnificence throughout the Navajo Nation. And as a bonus, it’s simply over an hour’s drive from Kayenta. You possibly can 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 automobile by the valley’s south entrance. The park is finest recognized for its dramatic river canyon panorama, that includes a curve within the Colorado River that appears like a horseshoe form.
Whereas there, you can go 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 aspect of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, with all its historical past of the Navajo individuals.
Earlier than you rush to understand Monument Valley in particular person, take a look at these widespread FAQs. These FAQs might offer you that additional info 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 an excellent shut city to Monument Valley on the Arizona aspect of the border. On the Utah aspect of the border, Bluff is the closest city to Monument Valley. Bluff has extra vacationer infrastructure, with lodges, inns, and some points of interest.
Can you continue to drive by way of Monument Valley?
Sure, Monument Valley is open to drivers. The Monument Valley Loop Street is open all 12 months spherical, though it does prohibit its hours in winter, usually opening between 8 am and a pair of pm. The Scenic Drive is accessible from 6 am till 8 pm in summer time.
Is Monument Valley in Utah or Arizona?
Monument Valley straddles the border, which means it’s formally in each Utah and Arizona, not only one or the opposite. Nevertheless, many of the park falls throughout the state boundaries of Arizona.
Monument Valley is phenomenal; there’s no doubting that. These 92,000 acres comprise a lot pure magnificence and tradition. You possibly can be taught in regards to the Navajo Nation and pay for a guided tour to embrace Monument Valley with the Navajo individuals. You possibly can take a street journey by way of Monument Valley through Freeway 163, passing Forrest Gump Level, Hollywood film scenes, and beautiful rock formations. Or, you possibly can 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 received’t quickly overlook.
You now know all the sensible info crucial to prepare a visit to Monument Valley. We hope you’ve 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 additional inspiration? These are essentially the most beautiful locations to go to in Arizona. And we now have an entire information on Utah’s ‘Mighty 5’ nationwide parks. Benefit from visiting a vacation spot proper on the Utah-Arizona border.