Monument Valley is located on the border of Arizona and Utah within the Navajo Reservation. The Park is about 5,500 feet above the sea level and is accessible throughout the year The Navajo calls it as Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii, meaning valley of the rocks. Monument Valley is part of the Grand Circle, including some of the famous national parks and recreation areas.
The Lookout Point near the visitor center provides an amazing views of the valley. The most photographed peaks in the valley – the East Mitten, West Mitten and Merrick Buttes are also visible from this view point.
Monument Valley is 125 miles east of Page, AZ and approximately 180 miles north-east of Grand Canyon south rim. However, the park is protected as a Navajo Tribal Park but visitors may drive themselves along the 17-mile unpaved road which starts from the visitor center. The Valley drive is suitable for family cars but vechiles with high clearance and 4WD are advisable. Apart from these points if you want to see some extra, you have to take the tour conducted by the Navajo guides. The general admission fees of Monument Valley is $5 per person and a camping fees is $10 plus admission fee. Child ages 9 or under are free.
The Valley Drive passes 11 views point from where you will find scenic views of the valley. The view points are as follows:
- The East and West Mittens and Merrick Butte
- Three Sisters
- Elephant Butte
- Camel Butte
- John Ford’s Point
- Totem Pole and Yei Bi Chei
- Totem Pole and Sand Spring
- The Hub
- Artist’s Point
- North Window
- The Thumb
Monument Valley has been featured in many movies and travel magazines. Not only in the photographs it looks bright but it is naturally bright and deep in color. It was first featured in the movie – Stagecoach in the year 1938 made by John Ford and John Wayne. The film director John Ford used Monument Valley as a location for many westerns and one of site that featured in his film is often known as John Ford’s Point. Since then this place become more popularized for filmmakers, photographers and other tourist.
This region is dominated by the Navajo people for many centuries who bears the harsh weather condition and difficult terrain. Long ago the Anasazi Indians were living throughout this region.
The magnificent cliffs formation of sandstone which is known as buttes, towers and spires are the result of erosion and uplift taking place from millions of years. There are few formation in a Monument Valley which is formed by the volcanic action.
Where to stay:
“The View” is the only hotel inside the beautiful park. You can see the beautiful formation of mittens and buttes from the balcony of each room here. Every patio in this hotel is made in the east direction where you can see these geological formations. The sunrise on the valley looks very beautiful as first rays falls on these mittens and buttes.
Apart from this hotel, you will find number of hotels in the nearest city of Mexican Hut and Kayenta.