Monument Valley

Monument Valley is one of the most famous scenic areas in this region. Its towering buttes and spires, cut from the DeChelly Sandstone, have been captured on dozens of movie westerns and biblical films, not to mention TV ads.

Monument Valley is a tribal park administrated by the Navajo Nation. Like Canyon de Chelly, much of the park is seasonably inhabitied. Access is restricted to a self-guided road tour, unless you hire a guide or join a tour group.

The Mittens - Jenn came out to visit me and Louise in 1994, and accompanied us on a short trip through some of the parks on and near the Navajo reservation. That's her in front of one of Monument Valley's most filmed attractions: the Mittens Buttes.
Jenn and me ignoring the magnificent butte behind us in favor of a little clump of broom snakeweed growing in the sand. Such is the inherent perversity of the human animal. Of two of them, anyway.
The Sisters - three slender spires of sandstone, typical of the formations in the valley.
Cloud shadows slide across the desert plain.
Louise and Jenn scramble across the talus of a butte.

The main entrance to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is located almost on top of the Arizona-Utah border on highway 163. For lodging, I'd avoid the inflated hotel prices; Goulding's Monument Valley Campground is situated in a beautiful red-rock setting, and is much more reasonable. For food, I recommend the Golden Sands restaurant in Kayenta, about 24 miles south of the monument. This is where Louise and her friends used to eat when she worked as a park ranger at Navajo National Monument (20 miles southwest of Kayenta).