Artistry of the Desert: Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park (Utah)
Approaching Monument Valley
Monument Valley is one of those places that is worth revisiting time and time. You get different perspectives at different times of day, with stunning views in so many places – from the Visitor Centre, from the valley drive (the North Window is my favourite, and easily missed by those tempted to stop at the jewellery stalls), the views from Gouldings, the views from Highway 163 into Utah – especially the famous view from Milepost 13 that has featured in so many tourist brochures / album covers / DVD covers and Forrest Gump movies.
The Navajo is a quiet, unassuming people, who will treat you with respect, whether you go on their tours, buy their souvenirs or eat in their restaurants. Don’t expect the “have a nice day” bubbly waitress you might get elsewhere – just a genuine person doing their job. The fact they are still only charging $5 to visit the valley, including the self-drive tour illustrates their approach to showing off their greatest asset. You can also eat in “The View” restaurant for a pittance with one of the best views in the world.
The Eagle Eye
HOW TO GET THERE
Monument Valley is served by Salt Lake City Intl Airport (Salt Lake City, UT)
- Monument Valley is 278 mi from Salt Lake City Intl Airport (Salt Lake City, UT).
- Salt Lake City Intl Airport (Salt Lake City, UT)
- Right now, 44 airlines operate out of Salt Lake City Intl Airport.
- Salt Lake City Intl Airport offers nonstop flights to 89 cities.
- Every week, at least 4,363 domestic flights and 168 international flights depart from Salt Lake City Intl Airport. (Source)
Most of the canyons that surround the city have excellent roads that run through them, but of course, you’ll need a car. There are buses that run in the winter up to the main ski areas in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons and shuttles to Park City. In the summer, the buses are less frequent. Thus, exploring Salt Lake City proper on foot is entirely possible, though it’ll take time and patience (and a high tolerance for heat in the summer). Renting a car or taking a bus, though, is preferable, especially for getting up into the mountains that this place is known fo
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WHERE TO STAY AND EAT
THE VIEW HOTEL| The View Hotel is the only hotel located in the park, most of the time people stay at the hotel because of the view, and the photo opportunities that the park has to offer are endless. It might be costly to stay at the View hotel in Monument Valley, but so worth it to wake up and just step out on your private balcony to watch the sun come up. The rooms are very clean and updated. It is also pretty cool that they build this hotel to fit right in with the environment around it. The restaurant on site and the food were pretty good, and I’d highly recommend the Fry Bread!
GOULDING’S LODGE | The accomodation here is basic but clean. The facilities are also limited (no alcohol!). The Hotel is set within the fantastic place which is Monument Valley (it beats the grand Canyon hands down in my view)and it is this that you pay for in the accomodation costs. Every room faces a superb view of the valley and you can see the wonderful sunsets and sunrise. For the hotel to be plush would be wholly innaproppriate to this wonderful place. Kayenta has accomodation but it is nowhere near the valley.
THINGS TO DO
MONUMENT VALLEY SUNRISE OR SUNSET TOUR | Enjoy a 3-hour sunrise tour of the lower and back country of Monument Valley. See great scenic areas with a professional guide and take great pictures.
NAVAJO SPIRIT TOURS – DAY TOUR |Navajo Spirit Tours is dedicated to sharing culture, history, geology and archeology of the area. It is important to us that you feel as though you are part of Monument Valley and not just a visitor.
MONUMENY VALLEY SAFARI TOUR|Offering Private, Scenic, Cultural excursions into Monument Valley and the Surrounding area.
-And Much More….
- What do you think of Monument Valley?
- Where would you go for your next adventure?