Monument Valley is an American National Park between Arizona and Utah and is part of the Navajo Indian reservation. The imposing red rocks eroded over time stand out on the desert plain and are famous all over the World for being an icon of the Far West; in fact, they have been the background of many classic Westerns movies.
Monument Valley is absolutely one of our favorite places! Since childhood we had seen hundreds of photographs of this spectacular site and we have always been fascinated by them. When we finally laid eyes on this spectacle of nature, it took our breath away for its desert landscape, boundless and stunning/astonishing. The numerous shades of blue of the sky contrast with the intense warm red and orange tones of the rocks and sand, creating such a suggestive and enchanting photograph at any time. Before going to the US, we had always been convinced that the Saguaro cactus was native to this region but then we found out that our belief had been influenced by the TV: this gorgeous fat plant grows in the southern Arizona and it’s not native to this valley as you may have seen in some movies! We visited Monument Valley in the middle of the summer, during a road trip across the United States: at five in the afternoon the colors and the light of the panorama were perfect for taking our pictures! However, the darkness soon dropped, and we decided to explore it the following morning.
For the night, we shared a room at The View
, an Indian-run hotel with the view of the monoliths; in that area there are also a cute souvenir shop and a restaurant. Our room had a balcony that overlooked the beautiful scenery: waking up in the morning, looking out and seeing the Monument, so silent and still clouded over, with its pastel tones, was priceless! We thought: “the money we spent for the hotel is really worth the view!”: So, after breakfast, with our GMC, we went down to explore the area. It takes a 4×4 to move in the Valley (even if they say it’s not needed). We found several cars settled in the dunes along the way! However, the route is quite easy, despite the large amount of red sand that rises. Between one monolith and another, the moment we preferred was when we paid an Indian to take pictures of us on horseback! An unforgettable memory that cost us only $ 3 😉 Unfortunately, we were in a hurry and we missed the “Forrest Gump Point”, the famous viewpoint of the film!
That’s no big deal… and a good reason to go back there!
The Monument Valley is and will always remain a MUST SEE for anyone who has the opportunity to do a road trip in the American hinterland and it never disappoints anyone: this Tribal Park is beautiful at any time of day or night, in any season … see for yourself!
Hot to get there: from Grand Canyon, Route US-160E and in Kayenta take the Route US-163N. From Arches NP, Route US-191S e US-163S.
Cost: $ 20 per vehicle up to 4 people (the “National Park Pass” is not valid).
Where to stay: The View and Goulding’s Lodge ($$$) inside the park. To save money you can look for accommodation in Kayenta but in this way you do not have the opportunity to wake up watching an unmissable view.
Tour: You can see the Monument Valley with your own car (recommended an off-road) along the entire Valley Drive independently or with a guided tour on horseback, by bus or by jeep from the Navajo.
Shopping: bracelets, necklaces, earrings and jewels handmade by Navajo Indians.
Movies: Stagecoach (1939), My Darling Clementine (1946) How the West Was Won (1962) Easy Rider (1968) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Forrest Gump (1994), The Lone Ranger (2013).
Take a look at our photo gallery below, Bye! ♥