Monument Valley

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on December 11, 2010

Monument Valley is a famous national park in Utah. The park is famous for its rock formations. The park is best known because of the Wild Western movies and the famous Roadrunner cartoons take place in this park.

Generally over Monument Valley

Monument Valley, in Utah, USA and has a height of about 1700 meters above sea level. The rock formations of this nature have a height between 100 and 300 meters and have a characteristic red color. This red color they have due to the iron oxide in soil. The mountains were created by erosion and have a characteristic appearance. The mountains are all like a plateau, even where this is caused by erosion. All mountains are of sandstone and siltstone.

The mountains have their own names, like East and West Mitten, Totem Pole and Three Sisters. There are also formations that resemble certain animal species. The names of the mountains are created by the original inhabitants of America: the Navajo Indians. In the park is it about from 0 to 30 degrees, depending on the time you're there. In summer it is usually a lot warmer than in winter months.

Navajo Indians

Monument Valley is one of the parks managed by the Navajo Indians. They call it Tse'Bii'Ndzisgaii Monument Valley. The Indians offer various activities for visitors. Everything you do in Monument Valley is paid directly to the Indians. The Visitor Center is completely run by the Navajo Indians.

The Indians live quite unhealthy and that you also see immediately. The main part was terribly overweight, so my image of the traditional Indians have changed.


The main sights of Monument Valley are the different mountains. All mountains have their own name, that deal with the look they have. Some well-known formations: East and West Mitten: Two rocks that look like hands with a thumb.
Three sisters: three spires which are fairly close together.
Elephant Butte: a rock formation that resembles an elephant
Totem Pole: a rock formation with different heights, one of which resembles something of a totem pole.

You have a beautiful picture of the different rocks from the Visitor Center. From this point you can take a lot of photographs. For many people, the view from the Visitor Center enough. Yet it is advisable to do the special Valley Drive. This is a route through the national park about 17 miles. You will pass all known rock formations and have a fantastic mountain views. Please note: The Valley Drive is an unpaved road. If you would prefer not to drive, you can also make a tour with the Navajo Indians in what they call a Jeep. Choose this, then you come to places you may not come with a car and you can still continue in the area. The tour is for groups can be combined with an overnight camping in the park itself. You can also ride on a horse or donkey in the nature reserve.

Visitor Center

The Visitor Center is the place to go being as more information about Monument Vally want to get. It is fascinating to find information in the form of books and maps. There is also a great gift shop with souvenirs and you can eat in the cafeteria. There is also a place where an exposition about the various commodities. This exhibition was closed for renovations when we were there.

I was disappointed about the Visitor Center. The prices are much higher than in other national parks. The toilets in the Visitor Center were a major disaster. It was terribly dirty and there were two who did not even flush. Also, not all doors were locked. During my vacation in America I have never seen such filthy toilets, so that was a big disadvantage.

Special arrangement for groups

As already mentioned a few times before, there is a special arrangement for group tours. In this package you should first get a jeep tour and then you have an evening at the Indians. You go eat and get to hear all about the Navajo Indians. You will learn about the language and customs and see the traditional Indian dancing. Then you spend the night among the rocks and stand up again the next morning early at a sunrise at the Totem Pole to see and then you get a nice breakfast.

As a group we were, we decided to use this special package. Full of enthusiasm we were in the parking lot waiting for the jeep, which would pick us up. After two hours of waiting it finally came! Really bad.. We could see the famous rock formations and learn about the names. However there was a huge dust storm, so we mostly had to keep our eyes closed.

The Navajo Indian decided to forward to us the place to where everything would happen. We would get the day after the tour. In the middle of the sandstorm, we have our tents set up with difficulty.

When the tents were up we finally had good weather and have provided us with the beautiful sunset colors in the mountains. A little later we had an evening meal of a sort of thick pancake, featuring a mountain beans, lettuce and tomatoes. It did not taste fantastic. We also got a steak, which was very tasty. Then we went with all around the campfire and we got to hear stories of the Indians. All very interesting. The Indians were dancing be interesting to see, especially since they were all in costume.

Then it was time to go to bed. Because the weather was better now and someone had advised me sleep outside, I have done so. Together with two others, we situated under the stars. In Utah you can have beautiful starry skies of America, said, and I think that that is an element of truth in it. It was wonderful to open your eyes to do and look at the many stars. In the distance you could hear the coyotes crying, so the feeling was more intense. Unfortunately, later on it started to rain so we had to go inside.

Early the next morning we went out to see the Totem Pole, and there we can see a beautiful sunrise. Of all my holiday was surely the most beautiful sunrise. Before sunrise, we ate and still had the jeep tour which we had promised. Now we got to see beautiful rock formations and provide the necessary explanations to hear. In some places we just got out. Here you had a nice view of the rock formations and there were some jewelry for sale made by the Indians. This jewelry is not expensive and of good quality. If you buy something, then you also get back the necessary information on the stones where they are made.
Then we returned to the Visitor Center. It was an extremely exciting night, with many highlights.

My opinion

Monument Valley is a place you must visit at least once, because it has a lot to offer. The arrangement was that little bit extra, giving you a very intense experience. Especially the night under the stars was fantastic and I was really sorry that halfway we had to go into the tent due to bad weather. However, it was striking that people outside have hardly slept, most people were scared when they hear the coyotes. I thought that was just very cool and have no time suffered from a scared feeling. The sunrise was pretty intense. Everybody has watched with silence.

The Visitor Center I found really, really disappointing. The exhibition was not to view and the souvenirs were very expensive and the toilets were extremely filthy. Another drawback I found the service. We have over two hours waiting for our jeep tour, but we have not received rebate (although here we have requested). Then what took advantage again, was that our jeep tour the day after that was done when it emerged that it could not be done by the sandstorm. Monument Valley I would certainly like to see, but without rain or sand storms. And I would certainly go back to sleep under the stars.
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
Indian Route 42 Oljato
Monument Valley, AZ, 84536
(435) 727-5874

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