A basin in its earliest days, Monument Valley transformed into a plateau. As wind and water erosion continued to beat against the De Chelly Sandstone, buttes and mesas took shape. The horizon of this sandy solitude is dotted with shrubs and trees, but the sandstone formations populate the skyline, creating a surreal cityscape. These 400- to 1,000-feet-high rock monuments tower above the desert floor. Monument Valley is a sacred location to the Navajo Nation, yet it is a place to which the Navajo welcome visitors from all lands.
Premier Adventure Location
Seeing Monument Valley will make you feel like you are in an American western movie! This land is actually a premier location for filming crews. Countless movies and commercials have been filmed here. Explore this unforgettable land on an amazing scenic drive. See the formidable monuments, many of which are named for their shapes like the East and West Mitten Buttes, Elephant Butte, and Totem Pole. On your drive, see Rain God Mesa, the geological heart of the park. A 3.2 mile hiking trail called Wildcat Trail is another way to explore. This trail leads hikers on a 1.5 to 2 hour long hike around West Mitten Butte. By visiting the park’s website, you will be able to find a slew of professional guides that can take you on a hike, drive, or horseback tour. (Some of the companies offer Navajo guides.)
Extend Your Visit
You will want to spend at least a half-day exploring Monument Valley’s environment. Besides interacting with nature, you can learn more about the park and Navajo people at the visitors center and museum. Plan to stay beneath the stars in the park’s campground, or book a night in the hotel, which also includes a restaurant.
Top Tip: Time your visit so that you can witness a dramatic sunrise over the landscape of Monument Valley.