Monument Valley State Park Travel Guide

  • Right in the background.
    Right in the background.
    by Yaqui
  • Monument Valley State Park
    by Yaqui
  • Monument Valley State Park
    by Yaqui

Monument Valley State Park Highlights

  • Pro
    Assenczo profile photo

    Assenczo says…

     Enchanting, moving, bewitching, not to be missed in a lifetime 

  • Con
    goodfish profile photo

    goodfish says…

     You'll take too many pictures 

  • In a nutshell
    frank_delargy profile photo

    frank_delargy says…

     Some of the most inspiring desert scenery in the world. 

Monument Valley State Park Things to Do

  • Mittens

    The most popular formationss in the park are the "mittens", so called for its resemblance to gloves only with separation of the thomb. They are seen from the visitor centre, but the inevitable guided tour will lead you along a dirty road, with a navajo explaining you the obvious, and, with luck, the not so obvious.

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  • The power of movies

    How will it be possible that a place where we had never been, so far from home, so different from our natural landscapes suddenly seems so familiar? "Movies", is the answer.That's the greatest attraction of the park: being physically backed to our memories built by John Ford and other giants. And then, enjoying the dusty landscape.

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  • Tse Biyi Yazzie and Hunts Mesa

    Tse Biyi Yazzie is a series of mesa's that consist of several beautiful formations and its sits north of Hunts Mesa, which is at a elevation is 6,365 feet above sea level. Hunt’s Mesa is a popular place for photographers and many beautiful natural arches are located here.Latitude: 36.893056 Longitude: -110.071667Monument Valley Navajo Tribal...

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Monument Valley State Park Hotels

Monument Valley State Park Restaurants

  • Wonderful food!

    Located in Hampton Inn, we were all really hungry and didn't want to have to drive any where. The boys had the hamburgers, I had to Navajo Taco and my youngest had the chicken fingers. It was all very good and satisfying. The decor was wonderful and the lovely ladies all dressed in traditional attire.Open for dinner nightly, service in main dining...

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  • Nice views, good food

    We only ate breakfast here. The choices were good, leaning toward using local ingredients and items. Food is something I almost always enjoy when someone else makes it for me. So I'm not too critical. We enjoyed our meal, service was friendly and prompt. I would recommend it. Even if there aren't too many choices in the area, it didn't suffer from...

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  • Navajo Meal

    Our package included a "Navajo meal". We had it, in the visitor centre. It was a big salad, with a great variety of vegetables, and, to be honest, I found no great differences to commom americam salads. A regular lunch, with nothing to remember or to complaint, and without any idea about its price.

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Monument Valley State Park Nightlife

  • Waking Up with The Mittens

    You're going to drive a long way for a beer around here so you may as well sit back and enjoy the scenery. You'd have to be unlucky to get a bad sunset and you sure don't want to sleep in as the early morning hours are always the best in the desert. The highlight of our Monument Valley stay was waking up and seeing the Mittens from our tent. The...

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  • Sunsets - even more incredible

    If not for sunrise, you defintely will be in the park for sunset. That’s the time when sun’s setting illuminates the buttes and mesas in the east – bringing the rocks to shine in a special light. The iron oxides seem to gloom – and nothing is as it was before.Try and be in the middle between setting sun and the buttes to experience this magic...

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  • Incredible sunrises

    Sunrise is also thrilling in Monument Valley. However, you need to stay close, or even get up extremely early and drive to the entrance.I once stayed in Gouldings, and have seen tremendous beauty – only my camera didn’t catch the magnificence of the skies. But is this important ? It's more important to have these images in your soul forever.In the...

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Monument Valley State Park Transportation

  • Fly from Grand Canyon

    For a Portuguese, used to have everything close to his door, driving those many hundred kilometers along the desert would be hard work, not holidays. That's why, saving some money in Las Vegas, we made it by air, with great advantages. It's expensive? Maybe. But... it was our casino.We booked from Portugal a Scenic Airlines 2 overnight flight from...

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  • Car is a must

    Monument valley can be reached from two directions - north and south. There is no public service in what is navajo tribal land, for visitors anyway.

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  • Roy Black's Jeep Horse & Hiking Tours

    We had a great time in Monument Valley with Roy Black's Tours.We arranged for a 2 1/2 hour tour, via email from the UK, but after finding that we had more time to do the Valley Drive than we originally thought we changed plans and went for the half day tour instead.Brenda, our Navajo guide, was excellent and I can recommend taking a tour with this...

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Monument Valley State Park Shopping

  • Excellent Shop in the View Hotel

    The shop in View Hotel is excellent. It stocks the usual tee shirts and sweatshirts, but also it has some really nice local crafts made by the local Navajo residents.We bought a really nice soapstone chieftain. My wife nearly gave into the temptation of a cowboy hat, but then couldn't think of anywhere that she would wear it again. She's not really...

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  • NATIVE CRAFTS

    One thing you will notice in the areas around Monument Valley, are the abundance of ROADSIDE STANDS selling Native American crafts. It's mostly turquoise stones set in sterling silver. Also jewelry with colorful beads, in the shape of earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets. I'm always intrigued by what they have to sell and cannot resist looking...

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  • Cowboys & Indians

    I thought this little shop conveniently located near the Artist's Point was interesting mostly for its sign outside. Now, I liked John Wayne as much as anyone as a kid but I found it incongruous that his picture be bigger than Geronomo's who was a real life hero amongst his people. I did however like that he was emblazoned on an American flag since...

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Monument Valley State Park Local Customs

  • No Alcohol Permitted

    Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs are prohibited. Navojo Tribal Rangers are responsible for enforcing all applicable Federal and Tribal Regulations within the park boundaries.Monument Valley Navajo Tribal ParkP.O. Box 360289Monument Valley, UT 84536tel: 435.727.5870 fax: 435.727.5875From Flagstaff, AZ, take U.S....

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  • Photography Etiquette

    Photography for personal use is allowed, but please ask for permission of Dine residence and their property. A gratuity is expected. Commerical photography requires a permit from the Department of Broadcast Services. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Scenic Drive Hours (Hours may change)Summer (May-Sept) 6:00am - 8:30pm Winter (Oct - Apr) 8:00am -...

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  • Listen to the Radio

    One of the most interesting experiences in the US is listening to the various radio broadcasts over diffenent language and cultural groups. It was a great free bonus for us to listen to the Navajo language broadcasts while we were in the area. They were a mix of country western music in navajo, and english...traditional music in navajo and a whole...

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Monument Valley State Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Landing runway

    I made the war in Angola, and there, I felt the sensation of landing and taking off using improvised runways in compacted earth. For Fernanda, however, it has been her first situation of landing with no sights of tarmac. It was absolutely safe, but different. And at the end of the runway, there we had the tarmac, to protect us from dust, when...

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  • Shy, but friendly

    Beware of becoming enthralled with the scenery. It may cause you to overlook the beauty of the people. One of the great celebrations of Navajo life is the celebration of the first time a baby laughs out loud. They have a "Happiness Song" for a reason. Take time to visit an old trading post, like Al's and Margaret's place in Shonto --where John...

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  • Plastic Bottles around Monument Valley

    This is so sad that I saw some plastic water bottles around the park. It amazes me that some people still litter, despite seeing the beauty of nature in this wondrous place.I do think though that there is a paucity of recycle bins in this place, and hopefully the Tribal Park will hear this. I saw the bottles mostly around the View Hotel.

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Monument Valley State Park Tourist Traps

  • SCENIC VIEWS

    It's not so much as a Tourist Trap as an annoyance to me. When Hans and I read SCENIC VIEW along the road, in the area just before the Park, we pulled in, as we never want to miss anything, esp. if it might be a great view and I could see that they also had some booths there, selling Native Indian jewelry. We turned off and came to a little shed,...

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  • low clearance should not worry you

    In an effort to drum up business for their four-wheel drive trips, operators warn that the Valley Drive is not suitable for regular passenger vehicles. The beginning of the road is a bit rough but it smooths out considerably soon after and unless there were some major rains, any car is capable of making the trip. I did it in a low clearance Honda...

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  • The colours!

    Look at those colours of the flowers : aren't they vibrant! But are these tourist traps??? hmmm, noooo, but so beautiful! I was trapped by their beauty! I couln't get enough spotting these little bright flowers in the red dry landscape of Monument Valley.

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Monument Valley State Park What to Pack

  • tie that tent down

    There is no backpacking here and not much hiking either so even a day bag isn't all that essential. Boots are best for the Wildcat Trail though it is short enough a bottle of water will get you through with no pack. Otherwise, you could visit this park in sandals. Sun screen. Wide angle if using shrubs and the like in the foreground. Zoom for...

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  • Be Prepared

    It gets either very hot or very cold, so check the weather and dress accordingly. Always bring extra jackets. Please wear comfortable shoes, sandals are not a good idea. Bring extra tolet paper, hand cleanser, and keep a first aid kit always handy. Bring a camera or buy one of those disposibles at the gift or stop at a drug store and pick one...

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  • sim1's Packing List Tip

    The one thing you really need to bring is your camera! Wow, the sights here are so beautiful, that you will regret not having a camera with you. This was my story about my visit to Monument Valley. I hoped you enjoyed reading it! This page is part of my roundtrip through the USA. I made an awesome trip through the Western part of the USA. Take a...

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Monument Valley State Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Off Trails Hiking

    It's best to check with the tribal visitor center before you make a trip here if your planning to hike or camp.Off-trails hiking is possible only with a hired guide. They are several guides stationed in the parking lot by the visitor center. Yet, there is a self-guided tour that is about 3 miles that can be used by visitors. Please check in with...

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  • Rockman Shadow - Horse Head

    One of the unique charactistics of these beautiful formations is how the shadows cast on them. Some of them look the best in the morning or late in the afternoon. On Spearhead Mesa, I happen to catch this shadow and to me if you look in the middle it looks like a man with his left arm bent to the waist and the right arm looks really long as if he...

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  • Elephant Feet by the Roadside

    This unique rock formations are just by the roadside and are great for a little photoshoot :) Not sure about the history of these rocks but for sure, they have been there a loooooong time :)Address: US Hwy 160, Tonalea, AZDirections:On the north side of US 160, either 34 miles east of its junction with US 89, or 16.5 miles west of its intersection...

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Monument Valley State Park Sports & Outdoors

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    during a horseback tour 1 more image

    by Trekki Updated Jan 7, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I already added it under “Things to see” - still, Valley Drive doesn’t show you the whole and hidden beauty of the landscape. That’s why I recommend to book a horseback tour. Depending on the length (they are available as 1, 2, 4 hours, whole day and even longer trips), you will have a lifetime experience. Before I went on my first horseback tour there, I wanted to have that “John Wayne” feeling – but it’s just more than that. On my first tour, they took me around the East Mitten and Merrick Butte, we came very close to their bottoms, and it was such a tremendous feeling of my life being just nothing compared to the majestic landmarks there.


    Equipment:
    There are several options for booking horseback rides, I always did it with the guys at Oljato Trading Post Tours , close to Gouldings.
    Phone: (435) 727-3210
    Email: e-mail: oljatotp@hotmail.com

    You would need good shoes, sun protection and a sweater.

    On the picture (from left): West Mitten Butte, then Big Chief, Bringham’s Throne, King on his Throne, Castle Rock.

    Related to:
    • Horse Riding
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip

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Monument Valley State Park Favorites

  • Please Keep the Park Clean

    Please keep the park clean. If you pack it in, pack it out! Respect the environment for future generations to come.Monument Valley Navajo Tribal ParkP.O. Box 360289Monument Valley, UT 84536tel: 435.727.5870 fax: 435.727.5875From Flagstaff, AZ, take U.S. Highway 89 north, 67 miles to U.S. Highway 160. Continue northeast on Route 160 for 62 miles to...

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  • Fires Permitted in Grills Only

    Fires are permitted only in grills, fireplaces, or similar control devices. No open ground fires. There is always a danger of wildfires.Monument Valley Navajo Tribal ParkP.O. Box 360289Monument Valley, UT 84536tel: 435.727.5870 fax: 435.727.5875From Flagstaff, AZ, take U.S. Highway 89 north, 67 miles to U.S. Highway 160. Continue northeast on Route...

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  • Western films

    You will know Monument Valley, even if you have never been here, as the backdrop to so many of the most famous Westerns, and a few other films too. The first, and perhaps the most famous, to be filmed here was Stagecoach in 1938. Others include: My Darling Clementine, The Searchers, How the West was Won, The Trial of Billy Jack, The Legend of the...

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Explore Deeper into Monument Valley State Park
Three Sisters
Things to Do
Camel Butte
Things to Do
Mitchell Mesa
Things to Do
John Ford Point
Things to Do
Mitchell Butte
Things to Do
Merrick Butte
Things to Do
Thunderbird Mesa
Things to Do
East Mitten Butte
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Rain God Mesa
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The Hub
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North Window
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Spearhead Mesa
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Yei Bi Chei
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Totem Pole
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Catch a Sunset!
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Artist Point
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Sentinel Mesa
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Big Chair
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King in His Throne
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Rooster Rock
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Beer Stien - Spearhead Mesa
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Castle Rock, Bear, Rabbit, & Stage Coach
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The Thumb
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Cly Butte
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Big Indian
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Sand Springs
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Elephant Butte
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Valley Drive
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The Three Sisters
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Olyato
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Watch the sunrise over the desert
Things to Do
Valley Drive
Things to Do
The Three Sisters
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3 hours or 3 days
Things to Do
Dineh Trail Rides
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Visitor Center
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Respect
Things to Do
Goulding's Trading Post
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North window
Things to Do
The scenic drive
Things to Do
Map of Monument Valley State Park

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