How To Visit Monument Valley in 2024: Your Ultimate Guide


Monument Valley simply hits otherwise. The red-sand desert flooring stretches over 92,000 acres throughout the Utah-Arizona border, dotted with sandstone buttes and dust roads. This area is greatest identified for Monument Valley Tribal Park – a as soon as frequent filming location for previous Western motion pictures. You’ve already seen the valley in your TV display. It has featured as a backdrop for all of the John Wayne movies, plus classics like Forrest Gump. But there may be extra to the valley than simply beauty. You can go to points of interest just like the Navajo Shadehouse Museum and luxuriate in unbelievable climbing trails.

Researching Monument Valley is a lot enjoyable. It is without doubt one of the most well-known sections of any Arizona street journey and one of many main US street journeys. Between the red-sand surroundings and Hollywood-worthy scenic drive, Monument Valley has wiggled its method onto hundreds of thousands of bucket lists.

How to Visit Monument Valley

How to visit monument valley

In this information, we’ll cowl all the pieces you want to know as a way to have a improbable go to. Get prepared for an intensive ‘how to’ information; by the tip of this text, you’ll be well-equipped and raring to go. We’ll train you all about the primary points of interest within the valley, like Elephant Butte and the Wildcat Trail. But we’ll additionally present all of the logistics you want, like easy methods to get there and when is greatest to go to. One of one of the best elements about Monument Valley is its location, so skip to the tip should you’d like some insights into combining your journey with different memorable points of interest, just like the Grand Canyon.

Are you prepared? Here’s what you want to learn about visiting the valley.

What is Monument Valley? A Quick Introduction

Monument Valley Quick Introduction

So, what’s Monument Valley? Well, this 92,000-acre area is a very lovely space of red-sand desert. The valley sits on the border between Utah and Arizona, with land in each states. It is most often known as Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which has a gorgeous assortment of sandstone buttes that attracted Hollywood’s consideration. Chances are, you’ve seen Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, John Wayne motion pictures, or the well-known ‘Run Forrest run’ scene in Forrest Gump.

You can drive via the valley on the 17-mile Valley Drive, a year-round accessible tarmacked freeway. During your go to, chances are you’ll want an off-road car to deal with a mud street or two.

Monument Valley Quick Introduction sunset

The valley is stuffed with crimson rock formations, and you’ll e book experiences like guided horseback excursions. You also can embark on hikes to miss factors like John Ford’s Point or take guided climbing excursions with a Navajo information to peaks like Totem Pole or the West and East Mittens. Most points of interest are off the primary Valley Drive, and there are many designated pull-in locations to admire views of particular rock formations. Or you’ll be able to cease by the Monument Valley Visitor Center and enquire about guided tour choices.

How to Get to Monument Valley

Monument Valley How to get to Monument Valley Phoenix Sky Harbor International

So, how do you get to Monument Valley? The easiest method is to fly into one of many main cities in Arizona or Utah, renting a automotive to street journey your strategy to this distant valley.

Las Vegas and Salt Lake City are the 2 most famed worldwide airports and round a 7-hour drive from the valley. Flagstaff is one other wonderful airport to fly into, solely a 3-hour drive away and ideally positioned to mix Monument Valley with the Grand Canyon. You can e book home or worldwide flights to one of many airports, lease a automotive, and drive the rest of the way in which to Monument Valley.

Alternatively, you would catch an Amtrak prepare to Salt Lake City or Las Vegas if touring from throughout the United States. This would lower pointless flights and supply extra adventurous, sluggish journey. You might then lease a automotive for the rest of the journey.

Reading this, you’ll be able to spot the recurring issue – automotive rent. You should journey with somebody with a license should you can’t lease or carry a automotive your self. The valley is without doubt one of the most distant locations to go to within the US. And you’ll must drive if you wish to see it independently. You can examine one of the best costs right here on our favourite website.

Monument Valley How to get to Monument Valley Trailer

With that mentioned, there’s a caveat slash loophole to this. If driving actually isn’t an choice, you would e book a guided tour of Monument Valley. These excursions are costlier, and also you’ll be restricted in free time, however they’re the right answer for these with out licenses. You can e book Monument Valley day excursions from Flagstaff and from Sedona. Budget round $250-300 for a gaggle tour, together with transfers, and prepare to kick your ft again with a guided tour expertise.

In abstract, your choices to get to the valley are as follows:

  • If you might be brief on time and need low-cost flights, Fly to Salt Lake City or Las Vegas after which lease a automotive to drive 7 hours to Monument Valley.
  • If you might be brief on time, Fly to Flagstaff after which lease a automotive to drive 3 hours to Monument Valley.
  • If you might have loads of time and wish to keep away from flying: Travel by Amtrak to Las Vegas, Grand Junction, or Salt Lake City after which rent a automotive to drive to Monument Valley in 4.5-7 hours.
  • If you aren’t in a position to rent a automotive, Fly into Flagstaff and keep there or in Sedona. You can then e book a guided tour to Monument Valley on a day journey for between $250 and $300.

Best Things to do in Monument Valley

Monument Valley Mexican Hat

The sheer scale of issues to do in Monument Valley is awe-inspiring. It is much from only a place to drive via and passively gaze on the surroundings, though we gained’t knock road-tripping its 17-mile Valley Drive. Monument Valley has a wow issue that conjures up you to get entangled with out of doors actions, whether or not climbing to buttes or horse driving via Monument Valley Tribal Park.

In this part, we’ll show you how to embrace all the thrill that Monument Valley gives. Get prepared for pure points of interest, trails, and sightseeing alternatives. These are the perfect issues to do within the unbelievable valley.

1. Experience Monument Valley Tribal Park on Horseback

One of one of the best methods to expertise Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is undoubtedly on horseback. You can drive the loop street, however horses go the place automobiles can’t or aren’t permitted. You can e book a 2-hour Monument Valley tour by horseback, getting up near the buttes. We did this and completely beloved it. We do advocate you might have a little bit horseback expertise, although.

2. Take a Jeep Tour

Monument Valley Jeep Tour

An effective way to expertise the valley is by way of jeep. Book a jeep tour throughout the desert flooring and previous vital sights just like the West Mitten butte. Most excursions final 1.5 hours to three hours. And you’ll get a hassle-free driving expertise with narrated sightseeing. This is a superb choice if you’re touring with the household.

3. Navajo Shadehouse Museum

Navajo Shadehouse Museum is a cultural attraction in Monument Valley price visiting. It explains all of the tradition, traditions, beliefs, and historical past of the Navajo tribe, together with issues like how Navajo medication males pray and what hogan houses appear to be. While the museum is small, it supplies unbelievable perception into the Navajo Nation. And because the valley is located on Navajo Tribal park land, it’s a must-have addition to your itinerary.

4. Visit West, East, and Merrick Butte

Monument Valley West, East and Merrick Butte

If you need beautiful rock formations, West, East, and Merrick Butte are one of the best formations to see up shut. This iconic trio of buttes juts up from the valley flooring in lovely crimson sandstone. The East and West Buttes stand over 6,000 ft above sea degree and are a dramatic sight to see up shut. It is against the law to climb the formations, however you’ll be able to stroll round their bases.

5. Drive Monument Valley Drive with Photo Stops

We can’t point out the gorgeous Monument Valley Drive. In 17 miles of freeway, you embrace a few of Monument Valley’s iconic landscapes and rock formations. This scenic drive passes Forrest Gump Point, a.okay .a. the well-known Forrest Gump Highway. The huge sandstone buttes additionally appeared in Western motion pictures just like the Wayne movies. It’s simply one of the crucial well-known scenic drives within the US. Allow 3-4 hours to finish the drive, relying on how lengthy you need at every cease.

6. Elephant Butte

Monument Valley Elephant Butte

This lovely butte is famously formed like an elephant and is a wonderful choice if you wish to see the rock formations exterior of the usual trio. Again, climbing is against the law, however you’ll be able to stroll to its base and admire the pure landmark. Visit simply earlier than sundown for one of the best views.

7. John Ford’s Point

This is the cash shot overlook. It’s named John Ford’s Point after the American producer and director John Ford. Ford directed tons of flicks, together with a number of that includes John Wayne. John Ford featured this viewpoint in a number of previous American West motion pictures. You’ll acknowledge the sweeping views of the buttes and desert panorama.

8. Wildcat Trail

Monument Valley Wildcat Trail

Wildcat Trail is an roughly 4-mile loop hike that crams in one of the best of Monument Valley’s views on foot. It takes round 2 to three hours and is rated as reasonable issue on account of sections with thick sand. You can simply navigate the path independently if in case you have a primary health degree. Your efforts can be rewarded with up-close views of the famed Mitten Buttes and Merrick Butte.

Set off early within the day to keep away from the cruel warmth in spring and summer season. Make certain to carry a digital camera, too, as Wildcat Trail is one among Monument Valley’s greatest issues to do.

9. Climb Mexican Hat

While climbing isn’t allowed throughout the valley, you’ll be able to skip minutes over the border to climb Mexican Hat. This bizarre-looking sandstone rock seems like a tower with a sombrero on high – therefore its title. Mexican Hat is fashionable amongst skilled climbers. If you might be skilled sufficient to deal with medium difficult climbs confidently, you’ll be able to tackle the Bandito Route, a bolted, clip-up route.

If you aren’t a climber, you’ll be able to nonetheless go to to see the rock up shut. Plus, you’ll be able to watch as others deal with the distinctive rock face.

10. North Window Overlook

Monument Valley North Window Overlook

Finally, there’s North Window Overlook to go to within the valley. This is sensible if you need a viewpoint expertise within the valley. North Window Overlook gives another view of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park to John Ford’s Point. It is positioned simply minutes from the Monument Valley Visitor Center and is ideal to expertise at dawn or sundown.

When to Visit Monument Valley

Monument Valley When to Visit View

It goes with out saying that summer season is a tougher time to go to the valley. The sky-high temperatures can attain 94 Fahrenheit in July and August, which isn’t conducive to abandon hikes or lengthy drives. Furthermore, summer season additionally means floods of crowds. It is the busiest time of 12 months to go to the valley. So if you’re contemplating visiting in summer season, we advocate shifting to the beginning or finish of the season. It is generally crowded and sizzling, with fewer parking areas and shared viewpoints.

So, if not summer season, when do you have to go to the valley? Ideally, you need to go to within the fall or spring. Winter can get a little bit too chilly, dropping to 25 Fahrenheit typically, so fall and spring are an ideal compromise. September to early November and March to May are one of the best intervals to expertise the valley. You’ll have gentle temperatures within the higher 70s Fahrenheit and fewer crowds – a win-win.

Monument Valley When to Visit Grand Junction

Keep in thoughts what time of day you enter the valley, too. Visiting within the shoulder seasons like fall and spring helps to cut back the crowds. But you may also be tactical with what time of day you go to. Early morning is greatest if you wish to spend a complete day within the park, heading to the preferred websites first. Meanwhile, should you want to go to only some websites, late afternoon is an efficient time to dodge the worst of the crowds.

Monument Valley When to Visit Night View

Of course, selecting lodging within the valley itself will show you how to get forward of the crowds. You’ll additionally get to tick off dawn and sundown viewpoints from the consolation of your personal dwelling away from dwelling, particularly at locations like The View Hotel and Campground.

Where to Stay in Monument Valley And Surrounding Area

Monument Valley Where to Stay Camping

Where to remain in and round Monument Valley is a wonderful query. There is one necessary factor to notice, although. There are minimal lodging choices contained in the park itself. You’ll should e book upfront to remain contained in the park boundaries. There are additionally extra B&B or camping-style lodging choices throughout the valley.

Fortunately, there are lots of extra choices for these staying simply exterior the park boundaries. The small city of Kayenta close to the south entrance has a number of inns, and the city of Bluff close to the north entrance additionally has loads of lodging selections.

Staying in Monument Valley

Monument Valley Where to Stay

Staying inside Monument Valley’s park boundaries requires pre-planning and advance reserving, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly nonetheless potential. If you wish to make your expertise much more distinctive, snagging these sought-after lodging reservations is nicely price it. You may very well be bathing in an infinity pool overlooking a gorgeous crimson rock formation or tenting in a conventional tipi village. Let’s take a look at the highest choices for staying throughout the valley.

Goulding’s Lodge

Goulding’s Lodge is a beautiful property inside Monument Valley and simply one of many main locations to remain. Get your reservations in fast. Guests take pleasure in an indoor pool and a terrace – from which you’ll truly see the buttes of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. It is a gorgeous place to remain and luxuriate in scenic sunsets and sunrises.

Monument Valley Tipi Village

Monument Valley Tipi Village is a gorgeous lodging selection for experiencing conventional tipi and hogan stays in Monument Valley. The village is run as a part of the Navajo Nation and is a superb strategy to put money into the local people.

The View Campground/The View Hotel

The View Campground and View Hotel are two adjoining properties in the course of the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park – essentially the most scenic part of the valley with the dramatic butte surroundings. Each visitor room within the lodge has a balcony to take pleasure in non-public dawn and sundown views over the Mitte buttes. And you may also enquire about tenting experiences in conventional tipis.

Staying Outside Monument Valley

Monument Valley Staying Outside MV Kayenta

As we defined, one of the best locations to remain exterior Monument Valley are Kayenta and Bluff. There’s additionally Mexican Hat, a tiny census-designated place proper on the north entrance with a choice of motels. Still, we wouldn’t advocate staying right here because it lacks services.

This part will take a look at one of the best locations to remain in Kayenta for inn-style lodging and a quiet vibe. Then we’ll take a look at one of the best locations to remain in additional luxurious and touristy Bluff.


Kayenta is the smaller, quieter choice of the 2 cities. It is positioned close to the south entrance of Arizona. It is a greater choice for these eager to go on day journeys to Arizona points of interest just like the Grand Canyon or Navajo National Monument. Kayenta has a number of city services, like Amigo Cafe, the Kayenta Recreation Park, and primarily 3-4-star inns.

Wetherill Inn

Wetherill Inn is a modest 2-star property excellent for anybody on the lookout for budget-friendly lodging close to Monument Valley. It does have its snug perks, although, together with an indoor heated pool and a continental breakfast.

Hampton Inn Kayenta

Hampton Inn Kayenta is a 3-star property, greatest for these wanting a extra mid-range to luxurious choice. It is a contemporary property with a tasteful desert-color palette that’s good given the explanation in your keep. It has an onsite restaurant, which is handy after an extended day in Monument Valley, and a gymnasium and out of doors pool.


Monument Valley Bluffs

Bluff is barely greater and greatest for many who desire a busier base whereas visiting the valley. It has extra luxurious locations, like Bluff Dwellings Resort and Spa. Bluff additionally has a number of points of interest, just like the Twin Rocks Trading Post, the Bluff Great House Museum, and the Sand Island Petroglyphs. It is positioned in Utah, close to the north entrance to Monument Valley.

La Posada Pintada

La Posada Pintada is first up. This 3-star property is gorgeous, with conventional rooms, log cabin options and views over the encircling crimson rock surroundings. A each day continental breakfast is included in your reserving fee. Overall, it’s excellent for these with a mid-range price range.

Desert Rose Resort & Cabins

Desert Rose Resort & Cabins is as luxurious because it comes. The property has a deluxe indoor pool, an onsite enterprise heart, and thoughtfully embellished rooms that includes conventional stone and wooden particulars. You have all of the Bluff services in your doorstep and a base the place you’ll be able to rejuvenate between sightseeing in Monument Valley.

Bluff Dwellings Resort & Spa

Bluff Dwellings is one other gem in Bluff. The resort has completely glowing critiques and a shocking combination of rooms and suites. The resort is about inside a piece of rock formations, giving it a distant attraction regardless of its central Bluff location. As if that wasn’t sufficient, you additionally get an onsite pool, gymnasium, and sizzling tub. Plus, there may be an onsite restaurant for these days if you want a fast meal.

Excursions Near Monument Valley

Monument Valley Excursions Vegas

One of essentially the most unbelievable issues about visiting Monument Valley is how completely it combines with different bucket checklist experiences in Utah and Arizona. As you recognize, the valley is located on the Utah-Arizona border, that means it has virtually unbridled entry to a few of the state’s most sought-after locations and excursions.

You may very well be trekking via Canyonlands or snapping pictures in Arches National Park. You might head south to spend a number of days across the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Or you would take longer, multi-day detours via Utah to go to Las Vegas. There are tons of excursions and worthy locations close to Monument Valley.

In this part, we’ll introduce you to one of the best of those. Here are the highest ten excursions – and multi-day detours – you need to mix with a go to to Monument Valley.

1. Goosenecks State Park

Goosenecks State Park is a gorgeous park simply north of the valley. The San Juan River splits the park and comprises over 300 million years of geology. Goosenecks is a superb day journey if you wish to spend a day admiring geological points of interest and canyon river views. Pick a hike from the a number of path choices. You may even camp there in a single day if you want.

2. Canyonlands National Park

Monument Valley Canyonlands

Canyonlands National Park is without doubt one of the main nationwide parks within the US, with some sensible climbing trails, together with the path to Druid Arch and Lavender Point. You can admire loads of viewpoints. There’s the beautiful Needles District and Green River Overlook. Canyonlands National Park is cut up into 4 major zones, together with the Island within the Sky mesa.

The nationwide park is just a 3-hour drive from the middle of Monument Valley. It is greatest skilled at sundown when the crimson rock surroundings is much more lovely.

3. Dead Horse State Park

Dead Horse State Park is simply over a 2-hour from Bluff, close to the valley’s north entrance. This state park is known for its desert panorama and critically beautiful canyon surroundings. While it’s adjoined to Canyonlands, it gives a way more intimate expertise, with fewer trails and fewer than 5,400 acres in comparison with practically 340,000 acres.

If you desire a extra bitesize chunk, Dead Horse State Park is the right place to expertise related landscapes with out the dimensions of Canyonlands.

4. Grand Canyon

Excursions near Monument Valley The Grand Canyon

Who doesn’t wish to see the Grand Canyon? The canyon is a superb expertise so as to add to your Monument Valley itinerary. You can go to the canyon in a single day from Monument Valley, taking 4 hours to achieve a technique. Or you’ll be able to fly into Flagstaff and spend a number of days visiting the canyon and its surrounding points of interest earlier than driving to Monument Valley. Either method, you’ll be able to mix the 2.

5. Visit the Four Corners Monument

This monument is extraordinary, marking the purpose the place all 4 states – Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado – all converge. The Four Corners Monument is positioned within the Navajo Nation and has its personal customer heart. If you desire a novelty expertise, you’ll be able to’t beat this monument. After all, you’ll be able to say you stood in all 4 states without delay.

It takes round an hour to achieve Bluff, making it one of the crucial accessible self-guided excursions from the valley.

6. Antelope Canyon

Excursions near Monument Valley Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon is a superb tour to take from Monument Valley. Once you’ve spent a few days exploring the valley, you’ll be able to drive underneath 2 hours to Antelope Canyon – the well-known canyon that appears prefer it has rock waves in its partitions.

As the canyon is sacred in Navajo tradition, it’s important to e book via an organization providing a Navajo information for a guided tour.

7. Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park is a superb tour from the valley. It is most identified for its abundance of Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, most famously Cliff Palace. A go to to Mesa Verde is good for increasing your information of Puebloan historical past after visiting the Navajo Nation. You can shortly drive to Mesa Verde National Park from Bluff, which takes round 1.5 hours. It is one among Colorado’s greatest nationwide parks and well worth the detour.

8. Arches National Park

Monument Valley Arches National Park

Arches National Park is a should if you’re visiting Monument Valley. It is simply too shut by to overlook out on. The park is called after its dozens of pure arches and is one among Utah’s most lovely locations to go to. It is just below a 2-hour drive from Bluff, close to the valley’s north entrance. And you’ll be able to take pleasure in beautiful hikes to see the pure landmarks.

Look into nationwide park passes for a number of parks should you’d like to mix a number of of the nationwide parks close to Monument Valley.

9. Canyon de Chelly National Monument

This National Monument is without doubt one of the greatest areas of pure magnificence throughout the Navajo Nation. And as a bonus, it’s simply over an hour’s drive from Kayenta. You can take guided excursions, find out about sacred websites, and go to a cliff dwelling and petroglyphs.

10. Horseshoe Bend

Monument Valley Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is one other main attraction and tour from the valley. It is simply over 1.5 hours from Kayenta by automotive by the valley’s south entrance. The park is greatest identified for its dramatic river canyon panorama, that includes a curve within the Colorado River that appears like a horseshoe form.

While there, you would go climbing or boating. Or sightsee different points of interest close to Page, like Antelope Canyon.

Visiting Monument Valley: FAQs

Monument Valley Gooseneck State Park

Are you enthusiastic about visiting Monument Valley? Whether you go to Mystery Valley, drive the Monument Valley loop street, or detour to close by Goosenecks State Park, you’ll love seeing the a part of the US. Monument Valley is a tiny part of fiery, red-rock depth. It is the surroundings of the previous West that generations of individuals grew to like on their TV screens. From a sightseeing perspective, it is without doubt one of the nation’s most spectacular areas of rock formations. That’s earlier than you even get to the cultural aspect of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, with all its historical past of the Navajo folks.

Before you rush to understand Monument Valley in particular person, take a look at these widespread FAQs. These FAQs might give you that further info that transforms your journey.

Why is Monument Valley so well-known?

Hollywood has immortalized Monument Valley. Sure, its tradition and geology would have nonetheless attracted guests even when Hollywood hadn’t scouted it as a film set. However, its look in John Wayne movies and blockbusters like Forrest Gump is what has made Monument Valley well-known worldwide.

What city is closest to Monument Valley?

Kayenta is an excellent shut city to Monument Valley on the Arizona aspect of the border. On the Utah aspect of the border, Bluff is the closest city to Monument Valley. Bluff has extra vacationer infrastructure, with motels, inns, and some points of interest.

Can you continue to drive via Monument Valley?

Yes, Monument Valley is open to drivers. The Monument Valley Loop Road is open all 12 months spherical, though it does limit its hours in winter, usually opening between 8 am and a pair of pm. The Scenic Drive is out there from 6 am till 8 pm in summer season.

Is Monument Valley in Utah or Arizona?

Monument Valley straddles the border, that means it’s formally in each Utah and Arizona, not only one or the opposite. However, many of the park falls throughout the state boundaries of Arizona.

Monument Valley Where is Monument Valley

Monument Valley is phenomenal; there’s no doubting that. These 92,000 acres comprise a lot pure magnificence and tradition. You can be taught concerning the Navajo Nation and pay for a guided tour to embrace Monument Valley with the Navajo folks. You can take a street journey via Monument Valley by way of Highway 163, passing Forrest Gump Point, Hollywood film scenes, and beautiful rock formations. Or, you’ll be able to enterprise out on excursions close by, like visiting Goosenecks State Park, the Grand Canyon, or close by nationwide parks. A go to to Monument Valley is one you gained’t quickly overlook.

Monument Valley Where is MV Arches National Park

You now know all the sensible info crucial to arrange a visit to Monument Valley. We hope you might have a beautiful time and encourage you to increase your keep to understand the broader area and its surrounding points of interest. In want of some further inspiration? These are essentially the most beautiful locations to go to in Arizona. And we now have an entire information on Utah’s ‘Mighty 5’ nationwide parks. Make essentially the most of visiting a vacation spot proper on the Utah-Arizona border.

Plan your Next Trip To Utah Or Arizona Here


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