Monument Valley is a stunning region located on the Arizona-Utah border, known for its iconic sandstone buttes and spires, as well as its significance to Native American culture. This guide will cover two outdoor activities, two must-see places, and one unusual tip for visitors to Monument Valley.
One of the best ways to experience the stunning beauty of Monument Valley is by exploring the valley floor on foot or horseback. There are a number of guided tours available that will take you through some of the most iconic and breathtaking parts of the valley, while also providing information about the region’s history and geology. If you’re looking for a more adventurous experience, consider booking a horseback tour, which will allow you to cover more ground and take in the scenery from a unique perspective.
Another must-do activity in Monument Valley is to witness the sunrise or sunset from one of the many scenic viewpoints in the region. The colors and shadows that play across the landscape during these times of day are truly unforgettable, and there are few better ways to experience the majesty of the valley. Some popular viewpoints for sunrise or sunset include John Ford’s Point, Artist Point, and The View Hotel.
Perhaps the most iconic landmark in Monument Valley is The Mittens, a pair of towering sandstone buttes that rise up from the valley floor. The Mittens are often photographed against a backdrop of blue sky and fluffy clouds, and they are truly awe-inspiring to behold. Nearby, you’ll also find Merrick Butte, another striking sandstone formation that offers plenty of opportunities for photos and exploration.
Another must-see destination in Monument Valley is the Navajo Code Talkers Exhibit, located at the Navajo Nation Visitor Center. The exhibit tells the story of the Navajo Code Talkers, a group of Native American soldiers who used their language to create a code that was unbreakable by the enemy during World War II. The exhibit offers a fascinating glimpse into this little-known chapter of American history, and it is a testament to the bravery and ingenuity of the Navajo people.
While most visitors to Monument Valley focus on seeing the region during the day, a night photography tour can offer a whole new perspective on the landscape. During these tours, you’ll have the opportunity to capture stunning photos of the night sky and the valley’s towering rock formations illuminated by the stars. Some tours even offer the chance to photograph the Milky Way, making for truly unforgettable images. Make sure to bring a tripod and a camera with manual settings to capture the best shots.
The Totem Pole is a towering sandstone spire that rises more than 400 feet above the valley floor. It’s a stunning sight to behold, and many visitors enjoy exploring the area around the base of the spire. Just a short distance away, you’ll also find the Yei Bi Chei rock formations, which are decorated with intricate carvings of Navajo deities. These unique landmarks are definitely worth a visit during your time in Monument Valley.
Teardrop Arch is a lesser-known landmark in Monument Valley, but it’s definitely worth seeking out. This unique arch is located on the edge of a sandstone mesa, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding valley. To reach the arch, you’ll need to take a guided tour or hike to the top of the mesa, but the effort is well worth it for the incredible views and photo opportunities.
For visitors who prefer camping, The View Campground is a great option. This campground is located near The View Hotel and offers tent and RV sites with stunning views of the valley. Amenities include picnic tables, fire pits, and access to a nearby shower house. Rates start at around $30 per night.
For a unique and authentic experience, consider staying at the Monument Valley Tipi Village. This village features traditional Navajo-style tipis that are equipped with modern amenities like heating and electricity. Visitors can enjoy stargazing at night and exploring the surrounding valley during the day. Rates start at around $90 per night.
Goulding’s Lodge is another popular accommodation option in Monument Valley. This historic lodge has been welcoming guests since the 1920s, and it offers a range of room types to fit various budgets. Visitors can choose from standard rooms, suites, and even private cabins. The lodge also features an on-site restaurant and gift shop. Rates start at around $100 per night.
For visitors who want to stay in the heart of Monument Valley, The View Hotel is a great option. This hotel is situated right on the edge of the valley, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Rooms are decorated in a Southwestern style and feature modern amenities like flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Rates start at around $250 per night.
In conclusion, Monument Valley is a unique and unforgettable destination that offers a wealth of outdoor activities, must-see landmarks, and unusual tips for visitors. Whether you’re exploring the valley on foot or horseback, taking in the sunrise or sunset from a scenic viewpoint, visiting iconic landmarks like The Mittens and Merrick Butte, or learning about the Navajo Code Talkers at the Visitor Center, you’re sure to have an incredible time in this stunning region. And don’t forget to take advantage of the unique opportunities that Monument Valley offers, such as a night photography tour, to make your trip even more memorable.