The Big Trip: Monument Valley

After leaving Beaver Creek, we headed to Monument Valley on the Arizona-Utah border.  The area is famed for it’s vast sandstone buttes, which have featured in many films, television programmes and even computer games.  Monument Valley forms part of Monument Valley Najavo Tribal Park, a Najavo Nation Park as opposed to a USA National Park.

In order to access Monument Valley Park itself you have to pay $20 for a car of four people, an additional $10 charge is made per person after that, and this allows you to drive the 17-mile (27km) dirt road that loops around the famous “Mitten” rocks.  If you wish to hike round the area you are required to hire a Najavo guide.

We enjoyed the scenic drive from the mountains into the desert valley; it was relatively late by the time we arrived so decided to check into our hotel and make a decision on whether or not we wanted to enter the park itself, either by car or foot, the following day.

We stayed at Goulding’s Lodge right in Monument Valley itself.  Sadly our apartment was tucked away behind some impressive cliffs so we did not get the same spectacular views as those staying in the lodge or campsite.  The lodge offers tours ranging from their basic two and a half hour tour for around $58 to their all day eight hour tour for just under $130.

As we were tight on time we decided to do neither the drive nor the hikes.  You can still get a good view of the rock formations from the road, you just can’t see them as close as you would if you do the tours.

Be sure to check out our video here if you haven’t already.  Here are a few of our favourite photos.

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