Monument ValleyValley Monument
Utah/Arizona, Monument Valley
The Monument Valley provides perhaps the most lasting and definite pictures of the American West. Over the years, the insulated erythema and butter, encircled by empty, sanddy deserts, have been shot and shot innumerable often for films, advertisements and vacation booklets. It is not a valley in the traditional way, but a vast, shallow, sometimes bleak countryside, broken by the fracturing rock formation that rises up into the sky over the last remains of the sandstones that once occupied the area.
The cobbled side street leads past the town to the north-west below Oljeto Mesa and offers vistas of other less frequented parts of the valley, then another trail (the Piute Farms Road) leads to the shore of the San Juan twig of Lake Powell. There' s only one major highway through Monument Valley, US 163, which connects Kayenta, AZ with US 191 in Utah.
On the AZ/UT boundary from the northern side, a long, level, empty street runs through the shallow deserts to the 1,000-foot-high, stiff, reddish rocks on the horizontal that bend right in front of us. It crosses the Mesa at Monument Pass, near which several country lanes both eastwards and westwards run and traverse the reddish sand scenery, allowing a closer look at the cliffs, although these streets result in Navajo mansions, so some privacy is required for a visit.
A possible itinerary is around the group of formation on the south-east side of Monument Pass - an approximately 4 mile long cross-country tour crossing various small waters, rocks and mesh. It can be viewed on half-day trips from Gouldings Lodge; highlights are bows (skulls, honeymoon and pines), pictograms, petroglyphics and Anasazi-rains.
Most of Navajo Tribal Park can only be seen from Valley Drive, a 17 miles long gravel track that begins at the Visitors Centre and runs south-east between the lofty rocks and Mesa, one of the most prominent being the Totem Pole, an often pictured peak 450 ft high but only a few metres high.
It' stuffy, precipitous in some places and rather bumpy, but it doesn't need four-wheel drive - unless, after the last downpour, the ride is suited for most familys and small to mid-size motorhomes, although the finish may not be too much better to boost the deal for the many Navajo guide- and four-wheel drive jet hire shops waiting in the visitors centre - typically around $75 for a two-hour ride (though lower-priced from Gouldings Lodge).
In addition to the rock erosion, there are also old caves and rock apartments, as well as nature arcs and rock paintings, which are usually located off Valley Drive in more remote places and can only be visited as part of a tour. Valley Drive goes through 11 bus stations at the most beautiful spots and a tour lasts at least 2 h.
It is not permitted to walk off the street, but nevertheless the ride is very pleasant. Learn more about Valley Drive: Lodging in the centre of Monument Valley is confined to Gouldings Lodge and the recently constructed View lodge in tribal parks - both quite pricey - so most folks choose to remain 23 Miles south in Kayenta, a city with only one chained city after the closing of Holiday Inn Kayenta and Best Western Wetherill Inn.
The Hampton Inn of Monument Valley - Hilton is located in Kayenta through the three-story Hampton Inn of Monument Valley, a contemporary edifice on the northern side of the US 163, near service station and a mall, but within view of the empty deserts in all direction. There is also a cosy chimney lounge, outside swimming pools, a terrace with garden, a commercial centre, a free mainland breakfasts and underwear.