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 grime roads. This area is finest 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. It has featured as a backdrop for all of the John Wayne movies, plus classics like Forrest Gump. But there’s extra to the valley than simply beauty. You can go to sights just like the Navajo Shadehouse Museum and revel in unimaginable mountaineering 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 means onto hundreds of thousands of bucket lists.
How to Visit Monument Valley
In this information, we’ll cowl every part you might want to know in order to have a implausible go to. Get prepared for an intensive ‘how to’ information; by the tip of this text, you’ll be well-equipped and raring to go. We’ll educate you all about the primary sights in the valley, like Elephant Butte and the Wildcat Trail. But we’ll additionally present all of the logistics you want, like the best way to get there and when is finest to go to. One of the most effective elements about Monument Valley is its location, so skip to the tip should you’d like some insights into combining your journey with different memorable sights, just like the Grand Canyon.
Are you prepared? Here’s what you might want to find out about visiting the valley.
What is Monument Valley? A Quick Introduction
So, what’s Monument Valley? Well, 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 is most often known as Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which has an attractive assortment of sandstone buttes that attracted Hollywood’s consideration. Chances are, you’ve seen Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, John Wayne films, or the well-known ‘Run Forrest run’ scene in Forrest Gump.
You can drive via the valley on the 17-mile Valley Drive, a year-round accessible tarmacked freeway. During your go to, you could want an off-road automobile to sort out a dust street or two.
The valley is stuffed with crimson rock formations, and you’ll e-book experiences like guided horseback excursions. You may also embark on hikes to miss factors like John Ford’s Point or take guided mountaineering excursions with a Navajo information to peaks like Totem Pole or the West and East Mittens. Most sights are off the primary Valley Drive, and there are many designated pull-in locations to admire views of particular rock formations. Or you’ll be able to cease by the Monument Valley Visitor Center and enquire about guided tour choices.
How to Get to Monument Valley
So, how do you get to Monument Valley? The easiest method 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 City 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 positioned to mix Monument Valley with the Grand Canyon. You can e-book home or worldwide flights to one of many airports, lease a automotive, and drive the rest of the best way to Monument Valley.
Alternatively, you would catch an Amtrak prepare to Salt Lake City or Las Vegas if touring from inside the United States. This would reduce pointless flights and supply extra adventurous, gradual journey. You might then lease a automotive for the rest of the journey.
Reading this, you’ll be able to spot the recurring issue – automotive rent. You should journey with somebody with a license should you can’t lease or deliver a automotive your self. The valley is likely one of the most distant locations to go to in the US. And you’ll must drive if you wish to see it independently. You can examine 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 would 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 can e-book Monument Valley day excursions from Flagstaff and from Sedona. Budget round $250-300 for a gaggle 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 might be brief on time and need low-cost flights, Fly to Salt Lake City or Las Vegas after which lease a automotive to drive 7 hours to Monument Valley. If you might be brief on time, Fly to Flagstaff after which lease a automotive to drive 3 hours to Monument Valley. If you’ve got loads of time and need to keep away from flying: Travel by Amtrak to Las Vegas, Grand Junction, or Salt Lake City after which rent a automotive to drive to Monument Valley in 4.5-7 hours. If you aren’t in a position to rent a automotive, Fly into Flagstaff and keep there or in Sedona. You can then e-book a guided tour to Monument Valley on a day journey for between $250 and $300.
Best Things to do in Monument Valley
The sheer scale of issues to do in Monument Valley is awe-inspiring. It is way 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 evokes you to get entangled with out of doors actions, whether or not mountaineering to buttes or horse using via Monument Valley Tribal Park.
In this part, we’ll provide help to embrace all the thrill that Monument Valley gives. Get prepared for pure sights, trails, and sightseeing alternatives. These are the perfect issues to do in the unimaginable valley.
1. Experience Monument Valley Tribal Park on Horseback
One of the most effective methods to expertise Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is undoubtedly on horseback. You can drive the loop street, however horses go the place autos can’t or aren’t permitted. You 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 suggest you’ve got slightly horseback expertise, although.
2. Take a Jeep Tour
An effective way to expertise the valley is through jeep. 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 you’ll get a hassle-free driving expertise with narrated sightseeing. This is a good 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 drugs males pray and what hogan properties appear like. While 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. Visit West, East, and Merrick Butte
If you need 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 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 is illegitimate to climb the formations, however you’ll be able to stroll round their bases.
5. Drive Monument Valley Drive with Photo Stops
We can’t point out the gorgeous 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 Point, a.ok .a. the well-known Forrest Gump Highway. The large sandstone buttes additionally appeared in Western films just like the Wayne movies. It’s simply one of the crucial well-known scenic drives in the US. Allow 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 exterior of the usual trio. Again, climbing is illegitimate, however you’ll be able to stroll to its base and admire the pure landmark. Visit simply earlier than sundown for the most effective views.
7. John Ford’s Point
This is the cash shot overlook. It’s named John Ford’s Point 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 Trail
Wildcat Trail 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 average issue because of sections with thick sand. You can simply navigate the path independently in case you have a fundamental health degree. Your efforts might be rewarded with up-close views of the famed Mitten Buttes and Merrick Butte.
Set off early in the day to keep away from the cruel warmth in spring and summer time. Make certain to deliver a digicam, too, as Wildcat Trail is considered one of Monument Valley’s finest issues to do.
9. Climb Mexican Hat
While climbing isn’t allowed inside the valley, you’ll be able to skip minutes over the border to climb Mexican Hat. This bizarre-looking sandstone rock appears like a tower with a sombrero on prime – therefore its identify. Mexican Hat is fashionable amongst skilled climbers. If you might be skilled sufficient to sort out medium difficult climbs confidently, you’ll be able to tackle the Bandito Route, a bolted, clip-up route.
If you aren’t a climber, you’ll be able to nonetheless go to to see the rock up shut. Plus, you’ll be able to watch as others sort out the distinctive rock face.
10. North Window Overlook
Finally, there’s North Window Overlook to go to in the valley. This is sensible if you need a viewpoint expertise in the valley. North Window Overlook gives an alternate view of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park to John Ford’s Point. It is positioned simply minutes from the Monument Valley Visitor Center and is ideal to expertise at dawn or sundown.
When to Visit Monument Valley
It goes with out saying that summer time is a more difficult 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. Furthermore, summer time additionally means floods of crowds. It is 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 is generally crowded and sizzling, with fewer parking areas and shared viewpoints.
So, if not summer time, when do you have to go to the valley? Ideally, you must go to in the autumn or spring. Winter can get slightly too chilly, dropping to 25 Fahrenheit generally, so fall and spring are an incredible compromise. September to early November and March to May are the most effective intervals to expertise the valley. You’ll have gentle temperatures in the higher 70s Fahrenheit and fewer crowds – a win-win.
Keep in thoughts what time of day you enter the valley, too. Visiting in the shoulder seasons like fall and spring helps to scale back the crowds. But you may as well be tactical with what time of day you go to. Early morning is finest if you wish to spend a complete day in the park, heading to the preferred websites first. Meanwhile, should you want to go to only some websites, late afternoon is an efficient time to dodge the worst of the crowds.
Of course, selecting lodging in the valley itself will provide help 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 Hotel and Campground.
Where to Stay in Monument Valley And Surrounding Area
Where to remain in and round Monument Valley is a wonderful query. There is one vital factor to notice, although. There are minimal lodging choices contained in the park itself. You’ll should e-book in advance to remain contained in the park boundaries. There are additionally extra B&B or camping-style lodging choices inside the valley.
Fortunately, there are numerous extra choices for these staying simply exterior 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, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly nonetheless attainable. If you need to make your expertise much more distinctive, snagging these sought-after lodging reservations is nicely value it. You might be bathing in an infinity pool overlooking an attractive crimson 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. Guests get pleasure from an indoor pool and a terrace – from which you’ll truly see the buttes of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. It is an attractive place to remain and revel in scenic sunsets and sunrises.
Monument Valley Tipi Village
Monument Valley Tipi Village is an attractive 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 an excellent approach to make investments in the local people.
The View Campground/The View Hotel
The View Campground and View Hotel are two adjoining properties in the center of the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park – probably the most scenic part of the valley with the dramatic butte surroundings. Each visitor room in the resort has a balcony to get pleasure from personal dawn and sundown views over the Mitte buttes. And you may as well enquire about tenting experiences in conventional tipis.
Staying Outside Monument Valley
As we defined, the most effective locations to remain exterior 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 resorts. Still, 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 extra luxurious and touristy Bluff.
Kayenta is the smaller, quieter possibility of the 2 cities. It is positioned close to the south entrance of Arizona. It is a greater possibility for these desirous to go on day journeys to Arizona sights just like the Grand Canyon or Navajo National 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 ultimate for anybody in search of 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 is a contemporary property with a tasteful desert-color palette that’s good given the explanation in your keep. It has an onsite restaurant, which is handy after an extended day in Monument Valley, and a gymnasium and out of doors pool.
Bluff is barely larger and finest 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 couple of sights, just like the Twin Rocks Trading Post, the Bluff Great House Museum, and the Sand Island Petroglyphs. It is positioned 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. Overall, it’s ultimate 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 all of the Bluff services in your doorstep and a base the place you’ll be able to rejuvenate between sightseeing in Monument Valley.
Bluff Dwellings Resort & Spa
Bluff Dwellings is one other gem in Bluff. The resort has completely glowing critiques and a shocking combination of rooms and suites. The resort is about inside a piece 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, gymnasium, and sizzling tub. Plus, there’s an onsite restaurant for these days once you want a fast meal.
Excursions Near Monument Valley
One of probably the most unimaginable issues about visiting Monument Valley is how completely it combines with different bucket record experiences in Utah and Arizona. As , the valley is located on the Utah-Arizona border, which means it has nearly unbridled entry to a few of the state’s most sought-after locations and excursions.
You might be trekking via Canyonlands or snapping pictures in Arches National Park. You might head south to spend a couple of days across the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Or you would take longer, multi-day detours via Utah to go to Las Vegas. There are tons of excursions and worthy locations close to Monument Valley.
In this part, we’ll introduce you to the most effective of those. Here are the highest ten excursions – and multi-day detours – you must 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 good day journey if you wish to spend a day admiring geological sights and canyon river views. Pick a hike from the a number of path choices. You may even camp there in a single day if you want.
2. Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park is likely one of the main nationwide parks in the US, with some sensible mountaineering trails, together with the path to Druid Arch and Lavender Point. You can admire loads of viewpoints. There’s the gorgeous Needles District and Green River Overlook. Canyonlands National Park is cut up into 4 most important zones, together with the Island in the Sky mesa.
The nationwide park is simply a 3-hour drive from the middle of Monument Valley. It is finest skilled at sundown when the crimson rock surroundings is much more stunning.
3. Dead Horse State Park
Dead 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 severely gorgeous canyon surroundings. While 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 need a extra bitesize chunk, Dead Horse State Park is the proper place to expertise related landscapes with out the size of Canyonlands.
4. Grand Canyon
Who doesn’t need to see the Grand Canyon? The canyon is a good expertise so as to add to your Monument Valley itinerary. You can go to the canyon in a single day from Monument Valley, taking 4 hours to succeed in a technique. Or you’ll be able to fly into Flagstaff and spend a couple of days visiting the canyon and its surrounding sights earlier than driving to Monument Valley. Either means, you’ll be able to mix the 2.
5. Visit the Four Corners Monument
This monument is extraordinary, marking the purpose the place all 4 states – Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado – all converge. The Four Corners Monument is positioned in the Navajo Nation and has its personal customer heart. If you need a novelty expertise, you’ll be able to’t beat this monument. After all, you’ll be able to say you stood in all 4 states directly.
It takes round an hour to succeed in Bluff, making it one of the crucial accessible self-guided excursions from the valley.
6. Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is an excellent tour to take from Monument Valley. Once you’ve spent a few days exploring the valley, you’ll be able to drive beneath 2 hours to Antelope Canyon – the well-known canyon that appears prefer it has rock waves in its partitions.
As the canyon is sacred in Navajo tradition, it’s important to e-book via an organization providing a Navajo information for a guided tour.
7. Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is an excellent tour from the valley. It is most identified for its abundance of Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, most famously Cliff Palace. A go to to Mesa Verde is good for increasing your data of Puebloan historical past after visiting the Navajo Nation. You can shortly drive to Mesa Verde National Park from Bluff, which takes round 1.5 hours. It is considered one of Colorado’s finest nationwide parks and definitely worth the detour.
8. Arches National Park
Arches National Park is a should in case you are visiting Monument Valley. It is simply too shut by to overlook out on. The park is called after its dozens of pure arches and is considered one of Utah’s most stunning locations to go to. It is slightly below a 2-hour drive from Bluff, close to the valley’s north entrance. And you’ll be able to 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 couple of of the nationwide parks close to Monument Valley.
9. Canyon de Chelly National Monument
This National Monument is likely one of the finest areas of pure magnificence inside the Navajo Nation. And as a bonus, it’s simply over an hour’s drive from Kayenta. You 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 is simply over 1.5 hours from Kayenta by automotive by the valley’s south entrance. The park is finest identified for its dramatic river canyon panorama, that includes a curve in the Colorado River that appears like a horseshoe form.
While there, you would go mountaineering or boating. Or sightsee different sights close to Page, like Antelope Canyon.
Visiting Monument Valley: FAQs
Are you enthusiastic about visiting Monument Valley? Whether you go to Mystery 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 is 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.
Before you rush to understand Monument Valley in particular person, try these frequent FAQs. These FAQs might offer you that further data that transforms your journey.
Why is Monument Valley so well-known?
Hollywood has immortalized Monument Valley. Sure, its tradition and geology would have nonetheless attracted guests even when Hollywood hadn’t scouted it as a film set. However, 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 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 resorts, inns, and some sights.
Can you continue to drive via Monument Valley?
Yes, Monument Valley is open to drivers. The Monument Valley Loop Road is open all 12 months spherical, though it does prohibit its hours in winter, sometimes opening between 8 am and a couple of pm. The Scenic Drive is obtainable 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. However, many of the park falls inside 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 can study in regards to the Navajo Nation and pay for a guided tour to embrace Monument Valley with the Navajo individuals. You can take a street journey via Monument Valley through Highway 163, passing Forrest Gump Point, Hollywood film scenes, and gorgeous rock formations. Or, you’ll be able to 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 neglect.
You now know all the sensible data vital to arrange a visit to Monument Valley. We hope you’ve got an exquisite time and encourage you to increase your keep to understand the broader area and its surrounding sights. In want of some further inspiration? These are probably the most gorgeous locations to go to in Arizona. And we’ve an entire information on Utah’s ‘Mighty 5’ nationwide parks. Make probably the most of visiting a vacation spot proper on the Utah-Arizona border.