The classical view if you approach Monument Valley coming from the north, either Mexican Hat or Moab or wherever, on UT 163 – from right to left: Bringhams Throne, King on the Throne, Stage Coach, Castle Rock, the big mesa is Mitchell Mesa.
The best moment to visit the place is around sunrise and sunset ( incidence of light).
We were there 2 hours before sunset. There was a thunderstom coming up, which suddenly changed the whole area in an apocalyptic scenery. It was superp!
Monument Valley is one of those places that has made a huge impression on me. Looking at these pictures always makes me think back to the day that I stood there looking at those amazing rock formations.
The landscape is flat and there is red dust everywhere, there are some little shrubs that cover the surface. But almost out of nothing there are these impressive rocks formations, they are called buttes and mesas. They are so huge and strangely shaped, it hard to believe that they are real. They are so huge, it makes you realize how small you really are. The whole atmosphere is so surreal and so serene, I will never forget it.
I left from Page early in the morning. Getting to Monument Valley is already a long drive, but I had to go on to Moab afterwards as well. Monument Valley is on the border of Arizona and Utah. You can already see the shapes of it in the distance.
Favorite thing: When we first got there (we were staying on Gouldings campground with an RV) we were a bit disappointed.....that was until we drove right into the park itself. WOW what an amazing place....we were virtually on our own out there in the park. You dont realise from afar how amazing this place is.
The landscape in Monument Valley is spectacular but inhospitable to both humans & wildlife.
The Navajo Indians are the only people who still herd sheep & goats here.
Only animals that need little water like the collared lizard, horned toad, rattlesnake & rabbits can survive the harsh landscape & weather.
Be creative & imagine all things possible!
Fondest memory: THE 3 SISTERS: Refers to 3 nuns NOT 3 siblings.
The 2 elder nuns are leading the thin young initiate between them.
Could almost hear the Sound of Music... lol!
Learn a little about the creation of this impressive landscape.
250 million years ago:
* Red sands here were covered by shallow sea.
* On the seabed, muds were collected & compressed into porous sandstone.
70 million years ago:
* The sea receded, earth's crust thrust upwards & formed a wide bulbous dome before solidifying again.
* The seabed had turned into an enormous plateau of sandstone.
* Over million of years (mind-boggling :-)), the exposed rock layers were transformed by wind & water into canyons & gullies & finally into mesas & buttes.
* The forces of erosion on the alternate layers of hard & soft rock wore away much of the soft rock resulting in mesas (rocky table-shaped plateaux). Wind & weathering eventually whittled many mesas into buttes (tall freestanding narrow columns).
Explore life in the desert.
Yes, it's a desert, but life is abundant here! To the Navajo the Valley is home. This is a Navajo Tribal Park located on the border of the northeastern Arizona & southeastern Utah.
Pictured here is THE MITTENS: The characteristic red-brown color of the monuments is due to large quantities of iron present in these sandstone.
Everything in life is a matter of perspective.
What do you see here? A cowboy boots or a land of everlasting wealth?
Can you see a miracle in the making?
To me, it's a lifetime experience. (Can you spot me in the picture?). How's that for perspective?
Nope, she's not the Navajo Indians ;-)!
The Navajo are the largest group of North American native peoples with a population numbering 220,000. The are basically hunters & farmers. The women weave rugs & blankets from wool while the men are silversmiths & produce very interesting jewellery.
Fondest memory: One interesting reservation surrounds an area allocated to the Hopi. To me, it's extremely interesting because in this culture, it has dolls known as Kachina dolls which depict dancers in ceremonial costume. The dolls are given to friends as bearers of good fortune. Well, I'm a collector of dolls, that's why :-).
Realise that people don't start life with a game plan or purpose - it evolves, it happens. Just like all friendships in VT & elsewhere, time reveals its beauty & strength.
Pictured: CASTLE ROCK, 1000 ft (300 m) high, is an impressive massif.
Fondest memory: In Monument Valley, time reveals what nature is capable of shaping & sculpting. It is a place of imagination! Let your thoughts run wild; you'll see all kinds of shapes & forms!
The valley, which is in the south-western USA, derives its name from the geologists use of the term 'monument' which describe those remnants of erosion that are higher than they are broad. In othere words, the stone monoliths often resemble man-made buildings & ancient temples or pillars.
Visit Monument Valley Tribal Park. This is maybe more known as 'Marlboro land', while this cigarette brand used this environment so very frequently for their advertisment-campaigns. It only amazes you when you realise that this actualy is a last faze of a canyon. It used to be a high plain of easily erosian sands and water and wind created a surrealistic landscape. Mountains are no mountains, but leftovers from the ancient highlands, as these stone formations were made of harder stones the the rest. A landscape shaped by the forces of the elements air and water.
Fondest memory: The rainbow forming above this already amazing scenery after a rainstorm that was the first water the indians saw after years! A unique moment in time.
Take plenty of film with you when visiting this region as you are sure to need it.
You will want to capture every butte, from every angle possible.
This stark desert country is yst another spectacle of the southwestern USA.
The visitors centre is like an oasis in the middle of the desert with a small museum ( look out for the dinosaur footprint ) a giftshop and snackbar.
You can get guided horse or jeep tours from here or you can do what we did, drive the rental car over the dirt tracks into some of the viewing areas.
It is extremely hot down there and because you are going so slow there is no cooling breeze to keep things cool. Air conditioning is an option but don't overheat your engine on really hot days.
Bear in mind that you are slap bang in the middle of the desert.
Fondest memory: I remember well my first encounter with those tracks, back in 1980. I had an old Chevy Caprice then, with a big hole in the trunk (which I did not know). After we had driven through Monument Valley, just about everything in the car was covered with red dust.... Now that won´t happen with a rented car, I´m sure.