Admittance hours change according to the season, so check here when planing your trip. After driving through the gap in this striking formation, it is definitely worth stopping to look back and study the impressive natural barrier more carefully. Here are the viewpoints: 1. You can self-drive this loop. This sandy preserve bathes the region between Arizona and Utah in rich red hues, adding to its reputation of having some of the most dramatic and mesmerizing light. Stay away after heavy rains. Tribal Park Loop This 17-mile loop, also referred to as the Valley Drive, is a scenic drive past some of the most popular sites in Monument Valley. The small, basic (no drinking water) campground here fills up quickly. Monument Valley, UT/AZ – The Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park spans the Utah/Arizona Border near Four Corners and is located off of Utah Highway 163. No matter how you arrive, it takes effort to visit Monument Valley. It’s tempting to venture off to explore them but don’t as your entry only allows access to Valley Drive. The Navajo Nation depends greatly on tourism, and they are happy to share their land and demonstrate their culture. 17 mile dirt road past the best formations of Monument Valley, within the Navajo Tribal Park, passing 11 major overlooks. Trailers and large RVs will find the long climb to Muley Point nerve-racking, but the steep switchbacks and unbeatable scenery make this one of the most thrilling drives in the state. Further determination will be made on January 1, 2021. Monument Valley is probably the most iconic destination in the American Southwest, after the Grand Canyon. You can also see Rain God Mesa, Elephant Butte and The Three Sisters. If the rock doesn’t seem to look much like a sombrero to you, it might help the illusion to consider it to be upside down, suggesting the medicine man first turned his rival on his head. To make the most of a Monument Vally drive, arrive before the sun rises. No spam, unsubscribe anytime. The next time Alan and I visit the area, we’ll book a Navajo guide for a trip on the Mystery Valley Tour.Private tours offer access to petroglyphs, Anasazi dwellings, a couple of sandstone arches and more rock formations. Avoid the summer months, if you can, as it is hot in the desert. Boomer travelers rely on our weekly email newsletter for fresh travel inspiration, tips, and advice. There were areas that were a … After negotiating the steep (and sometimes rough) first 1/2 mile down Mitchell Mesa into the valley, the Monument Valley road levels out. Admission costs $10 per person or $20 per vehicle with up to four people. Love Your RV 20,114 views. I like Coppertone Sport (click here for current price on Amazon) because it’s water resistant so it doesn’t sweat off. This intersection is like an open-air shopping mall for souvenirs — most, except for the glorious handmade rugs, made in China or Mexico — and Native American art and food. The scenic drive in Monument Valley includes 11 numbered stops, which are notated on the free map provided by the Visitors Center. (If you haven’t taken the Valley of the Gods option, turn right off U.S. 163 and head north on Highway 261 for about 9 miles to get here.). The Utah section of the 25,000-acre Navajo Nation is home to a small portion of the Navajo’s nearly 300,000 members. From Mexican Hat, cross the San Juan River and, as the sign says, you are entering Navajo land. All Rights Reserved. Once you’ve parked the car, taking a photo of East Mitten—you can’t see the thumb from this perspective—through the branches of an old tree stump is a must. The red rock formations range from 100 to 1,000 feet tall. Although the scenery is stunning in its own right, the real meaning of a trip to Monument Valley comes when one learns about the culture and history from the Navajo point of view. Just past Comb Ridge, you climb out of the ravine and begin to see the outline of the Monument Valley’s dramatic formations way off in the distance. Do you still have enough energy for a hike? Monument Valley, Utah, USA According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park: Monument Valley Tour (From US$90.00) 2.5 Hour Guided Tour of Monument Valley (From US$75.00) Sunset Tour of Monument Valley (From US$85.00) Monument Valley Extended Backcountry Tour (From US$90.00) Please visit the park website for up-to-date information - https://navajonationparks.org/tribal-parks/monument-valley/ Users have reported that this trail passes through private property. Arriving early also gives you a chance to try Navajo fry-bread for breakfast at the View Restaurant in the Visitors Center before the 17-mile road through Monument Valley, opens for traffic. WE WILL STILL BE OPERATING SCENIC TOURS IN OTHER AREAS IN MONUMENT VALLEY. Or continue even a few miles farther north to Desert Rose Inn in Bluff, Utah (a step above the rest quality wise, in my opinion).Both accommodations make a great headquarters for visiting other sites in the area such as Valley of the Gods, Goosenecks State Park, Cedar Mesa, Natural Bridges National Monument, and Canyon de Chelly among many others. Valley of the Gods is also a very good place to camp if you are entirely self-sufficient. We were hesitant based on all the discussion in the forum about the quality of the dirt road making up the 17 mile loop; so we rented a small SUV; however, it definitely wasn't necessary. At nearby Sand Island Recreation Area, 2 miles past Bluff, an excellent Anasazi petroglyph panel features five representations of Kokopelli, the humpbacked flute-player. The valley’s more out-of-the-way spots can only be reached with a guide, but you can hike the Wildcat Trail to get an up-close view of some monuments. The Monument Valley Scenic drive is a 17-mile scenic loop on a dirt road and takes you to the majority of the monuments such as The Mittens, Three Sisters, John Ford’s Point, Totem Pole, Yei Bi Chai, Ear of the Wind. Monument Valley is a Navajo Tribal park (not a USA National Park) - National Park passes will not be accepted. Rather than narrow canyons and steep, confining barrier reefs, U.S. 163 traverses land that is broad, open, and windswept. Totem Pole and Yei Bi Chei. Today the Navajo are a friendly, hospitable people, proud of their desert home, rich culture, and beautiful crafts. Camel Butte. Usually accessible to regular vehicles, including small RVs, though various types of guided tour are available. And if you enjoy roadtripping as much as I do, subscribe to our Road Trip newsletter. Monument Valley tours from Native American guides take you deeper into Monument Valley, with areas only accessible by guides. 2 h 9 m. Note: As of December 2020 the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is closed due to COVID-19. The park, frequently a filming location for Western movies, is accessed by the looping, 17-mile Valley Drive. From here it is 4 miles to the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Monument Valley Road leads to the Monument Valley Tribal Park itself and the Monument Valley visitor center. A scenic drive in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park on the border of Arizona and Utah places you in the middle of nature’s wonderland of spires, buttes and red rock creations. The San Juan River snakes for more than 5 miles here in its deeply cut canyon to cover just 1 mile as the crow flies. Be sure to bring drinking water as there are no facilities in the valley, not even restrooms. The paved road to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park crosses the Utah-Arizona stateline, passes the entrance booth … AVAILABLE TOURS. Lodging tips and other travel suggestions are included at the end so keep reading. From this point on, the road becomes one-way. The size of the park is 91,696 acres in Utah/Arizona and is at an elevation of 5,564 feet above sea level. Before leaving Monument Valley, get out of the car for the 3.2-mile Wildcat Nature Walk around West Mitten Butte. The tour brochure is usually available there. The Hub. Some tours include a night of communing with nature while camping under the stars on Hunts Mesa. Highway 261 will take you south back to U.S. 163, but there are some things to see along Highway 261 so consider taking more side trips. The 17-mile loop drive on (mostly good) dirt road is suitable for all but the most low-slung passenger vehicles in good weather. Subscribe by clicking here. For access to the loop road through the valley a fee of $20 per car has to be paid. Monument Valley is a special place for other reasons, too. Hiking in Monument Valley The Wildcat Trail is the only hiking trail inside the Tribal Park that visitors can hike unescorted by authorized Navajo guides – it departs from The View Hotel. Yá'át'ééh ... Monument Valley is located on the boarder of Arizona and Utah. About 3 miles west of Bluff, U.S. 191 makes a sharp left turn and heads south to Mexican Water, Arizona. The visitor center parking lot teems with local jeep tour companies, eager to whisk you off on guided tours of varying duration and difficulty. Its mesas and spires are formed of the same Cedar Mesa sandstone as the somewhat larger formations at Monument Valley. It’s about 16 miles from Bluff to the eastern entrance, on the right, of Valley of the Gods, a highly recommended side trip. Although Gouldings doesn’t have the same killer view, you’ll be surrounded by legends of the historic trading post turned lodge.To escape the tourist crowd, drive 33 miles north on Highway 163 to Valley of the Gods Bed and Breakfast. Behind the sombrero is an interesting geologic formation called the Navajo Rug, a wavy pattern in the cliff strata. The 11 Stops on the Monument Valley Loop Drive The scenic drive in Monument Valley includes 11 numbered stops, which are notated on the free map provided by the Visitors Center. Bluff is a peaceful place whose biggest attraction is San Juan River excursions. Fall and spring provide the most comfortable temperatures, especially September/October and April/May. It’s considered the heart of the earth to the Navajo; a land with arguably the most breathtaking view in … Here’s what to see and do: Planning a trip to Utah? The highway crosses Comb Wash, revealing the dramatic cliffs of Comb Ridge, a huge redrock escarpment running north–south. There is little question you'll love Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park's world-renowned scenic drives, whether you explore the self-guided part or book a deeper exploration with a Navajo guide. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park | Austen Diamond Weather: Mostly Clear, 28F The Wildcat Trail is a 3.2-mile loop hike (4 miles total, including the return) into one of the most scenic areas that Monument Valley has to offer. A stone monument that’s true to it’s name, The Thumb is the last stop on your Monument Valley driving adventure. Elephant Butte. Yet the beauty of this land spirals well beyond the borders of the Navajo sacred lands, no matter where you start. The park visitor center is open from 6am to 8pm April 1 through September 30 and 8am to 5pm October 1 through March 30. 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