Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Travel Photo #6: Monument Valley

During the holiday season, end of 2012, I drove over 3000 miles with my copilot Leo the weird cat, who can't live without car rides.  That was my first time witnessing snow showers..
Monument Valley

Monument Valley Overview

Moment Valley, a.k.a "valley of the rocks", is located in Arizona-Utah state line, close to the Four Corners area. The valley is situated in the area around Navajo Nation Reservation. This national monument is known for its clusters of large sandstone buttes.
Over the past decades, this national monument has been the topic of many media houses and also the choice location for movie producers/directors. As a matter of fact, majority of the popular western movies you have watched were filmed in the Monument Valley.  Remember the background sceneries in the classic American cow boy movies?  Clint Eastwood is the man.

Top Attractions At The Monument Valley

1. Goulding’s Trading Post Museum
This museum is named after Harry Goulding who together with his young bride Leone, purchased 640 acres of land very close to the Monument Valley. He built an old stone trading post with an apartment upstairs in 1928, and this was where he carried out his trading activities with the Navajo people. The building has now been converted to a museum where you can view memorable stuffs as well as photographs of the Gouldings. This is definitely one place you shouldn’t fail to visit when you are on a solo travel trip to Monument Valley.

2. Wildcat Trail
Monument Valley is not an ideal hiking ground because most of the lands belong to private individuals and there are houses and hogans scattered all over the lands. But there is an officially maintained 3.2 mile Wildcat Trail. This Wildcat Trail makes it possible for tourists to inspect the rocks in Monument Valley from all angles.

3. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
The Monument valley Navajo tribal Park has been described by many as the grandest and most photographed landmarks in the United States. There are also towers of sand within the tribal park with some even as tall as a thousand feet, and these towers cast long lovable shadows on the valley floor as a result of illumination from the sun. So make out time to visit the Navajo tribal Park anytime you embark on solo travel to Monument valley.  I had an awesome experience in the cold winter snow.  By the way, I got a pair of hand made Turquoise earrings and a Turquoise hair clip from the Navajo artist.

4. Monument Valley Horseback Tours
A lot of popular actors and actresses enjoy horseback trail rides when they visit Monument Valley. Tourists can participate in guided and unguided horseback rides in Monument Valley, so make sure you take a ride when you go visiting Monument Valley. Your next solo travel should include Monument Valley in the list of places to visit and do not miss the horseback ride when you get there.  I got a nice picture of myself riding Charlie the horse.

How To Get To Monument Valley

Directions to Monument Valleys depend on the direction coming from.
If you are coming from the south via road trip, you are to reach Monument Valley through Hwy 160 (it runs from east to west across the Navajo Reservation). Then at Kayenta, turn north on Hwy 163 to Monument Valley.  (Speaking of Kayenta, we spent a night at a hotel in Kayenta, where I left Leo while visiting Monument Valley.  The GPS guided me to stop as the destination in the middle of highway.  My phone got enough signal so I was able to call the hotel for direction.  It turned out, there's no street address.  Hampton Inn on US 160 was that only Hampton.  McDonald on US 160 was that McDonald.  So my GPS made me stop in the middle of nowhere on US 160, which was 30 miles away from the hotel.  Awesome experience!)
If you are coming from the north as well via road trip, say you come from Arches National Park, follow Hwy 191 from Moab, Utah, via Monticello, and then Blanding to Bluff. Then take Hwy 163 to Monument Valley.
“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau


  1. Omg, this place is gorgeous. So jealous of your travels!

    1. Anonymous8/23/2014

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  2. Omg! I didn't know that this is possible in the Monument Valley, I thought it is always some kind of a solid dry heat over there. I guess I was wrong.
    Please, do post a horse back photo of yourself, doe in reality hope for some celebrity snaps from a spy cam on Leo hehehehe :)))))

    1. (: If I remember correctly, Leo was peacefully napping at the hotel by the time I was riding Charlie the horse.

    2. Wowz, you ride. I tried, Never been so sorry in my life.

    3. I don't really know horseback riding. It was a fun experience with a guide. I generally hate to ride the animal, but that was the only transportation to go see some hidden treasures. Hiking on that trail is dangerous in the snow.

  3. How this could form, are those all sediments and erosion?

    1. The geographical movements and water waves created the mounts in earlier time. We're lucky that we're living this time. It will eventually become a flat desert.

  4. Jessica8/28/2014

    I have not yet been to Monument Valley, its on my to-go list though. Sounds like an interesting place!