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How to Visit Monument Valley, Utah

One of the most impressive places to see in Utah is Monument Valley. You cannot travel here and miss this natural wonder. It is even one of the most beautiful landscapes in the entire country.


This Valley is located on the Utah-Arizona border. And it's within the Navajo reservation, the largest Indian nation in the United States.


In this practical guide I tell you how to get to Monument Valley, the hours and access fees, what to visit in Monument Valley, tours...



HOW TO VISIT MONUMENT VALLEY, UTAH


Monument Valley is one of the essential places to see in Utah. In addition, it will give you the opportunity to get to know and delve into the Navajo culture.

The Navajos already lived in the area long before the arrival of the Spanish in the year 1581. But until the year 1930, Monument Valley was a completely unknown landscape, a wild desert. The only ones who knew the area perfectly were the Navajos.


This Valley became known thanks to the Western movies that were recorded in this area. The popular movies directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne.


Now it is one of the great wonders of the State.


HOW TO GET TO MONUMENT VALLEY


Monument Valley is very far from everything and when planning your route through the State you should take this into account.

You will need to go on Route 163 and it is right on the southern border between Utah and Arizona. The entrance to the park is in Utah, but the valley itself is in the state of Arizona.


If your intention is to get to the valley from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, it will take about 3 and a half hours approx.


Another option is to make a stop in Page before arriving at the Park. It is a city in Arizona, about 2 hours from Monument Valley where you will find restaurants, shops and accommodation.


Another option, for those of you who are not considering a trip to Utah or Arizona, but to the state of Colorado, is to visit Monument Valley from Las Vegas. It is a long route of 6h one way + 6h back. And it is quite common to do it on concerted trips, which include full-day excursions. (Although it must be a real beating.)



MONUMENT VALLEY SCHEDULES AND RATES


Fees, Monument Valley Annual Bond


The first thing I recommend if you are going to travel to Utah is that you buy the annual pass to access all the national parks in the United States. It's a real bargain. It costs about 80 dollars, but with it you will have access to all the National Parks of the United States for 12 months. If you are thinking of doing a road trip through Utah, keep in mind that the state is full of them, so if you buy the ticket in Vada Parque you will spend 10 times more.


Monument Valley Visitor Center Hours


From April 1 to September 30, access is from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is the period considered high season and in addition to higher temperatures. I recommend you get up very early and start your day in the park at 6 o'clock.


From October 1 to March 30, it is considered the low season and the hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Although there are not so many people and not so hot, it is advisable to start the day early to make the most of your time in the Park.


Thanksgiving – 8am – until noon

Monument Valley Closed December 25 and January 1


Schedules for the Scenic Drive (driving inside the enclosure)


From April 1 to September 30; from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

From October 1 to March 30; from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Fees to enter Monument Valley


General Admission: $20

Children 6 years and under: Free

Entrance per vehicle: 20 dollars (up to four people)

Additional people: 6 dollars

Once you pay the entrance, you can return as many times as you want.




HOW TO VISIT MONUMENT VALLEY, UTAH


You can get to know Monument Valley in different ways:


Tribal Park Loop


It is the best option for those who have a car in good condition. If you are thinking of renting a car to get to know Utah, it is advisable to rent a 4x4.

If you are going to access with your car you will have to pay only 20 dollars per vehicle and you will be able to visit the park at your own pace and stop there wherever you want. I assure you that you will be stopping every second, because the entire park is very photogenic.


The Tribal Park Loop is a 27-kilometer scenic circuit where you can see the most popular places in Monument Valley. Although not all the essential places are found, the majority are, and it is a good option to start getting to know the Park.

It is a circular route that starts and leaves from the visitor center.

The road is dirt and gravel and not very smooth, you can find some rocks or vaches, so it is advisable to rent a 4x4 car. If you opt for a simple car, nothing happens. It is not essential to take a 4x4. You will only have to go more slowly and carefully in some areas.



Wildcat Trail


Do you feel like doing a walking route? In Monument Valley you have this option. Although there are several routes of different difficulties and lengths, the Wildcat trail is a very simple path of about 5 kilometers and is the most recommended, especially if you travel in high season (which is when it is hottest) and you don't feel like walking a lot.


Apart from accessing the Park with the car throughout the day, in the afternoon before closing, we decided to do this route at sunset. Spectacular! There were not many people, since it is more popular first thing in the morning, and the views of the valley dyed in red and the play of light make this place a very magical place.



Get to know Monument Valley with guided tours


If you do not go with your own car or you go with it but you prefer to do the tour with a guided tour, you have this good alternative.

They are guided tours by the Navajos themselves that take you to the most beautiful points in the valley. You can do them in 4×4 or on horseback. If you can try to avoid the horseback riding!

These tours are guided at all times and you cannot go on your own. And the tours are not exactly cheap...the cheapest ones are usually around 80 dollars, even packages with various activities for around 200 dollars. (Not counting the cost of access to the park).


On the other hand, it is positive to hire a tour, since you will learn more about its history, traditions, legends... and you will stop at beautiful places that you may not see on your own as they go unnoticed.


We do not reserve any type of activity, after requesting all the information at the visitor center, we preferred to do the first two options, since the guided activities seemed a bit expensive to us. If you dare to do any of these activities, tell me when you return.


ESSENTIAL PLACES TO SEE IN MONUMENT VALLEY


Forrest Gump Point


If you arrive to Monument Valley from Utah, before entering the Valley you have an impressive viewpoint that you cannot miss. It is located about 20 minutes before reaching the visitor center. It is well signposted and the views will leave you speechless. It will be the perfect letter of introduction to enter a spectacular National Park.


Actually it is not a viewpoint as such, but rather a stop on the side of the road from where you can take a picture of the kilometer long road in the middle of the desert and the mountains in the distance.


Forrest Gump made this stretch of road, located on US-163, famous. Here are the coordinates so you can put them in the GPS and find the exact point. GPS coordinates: 37.101393, -109.990973. If you're lucky, you'll be able to take the photo without cars or other travelers...




John ford point


It is one of the most popular places and you will find it marked on the map (which you can ask for at the visitor center). You can do it with the route by car, Tribal Park Loop, or if you book some of the tours. Since it is an essential.

This viewpoint is known thanks to the western movies directed by John Ford (hence the name).


The viewpoint of the Hotel The View


This is probably the viewpoint with the most beautiful views in the entire Park. From here you will have fantastic and panoramic views of all of Monument Valley.

It's okay if you don't stay at the hotel, access to the viewpoint is free. At sunrise and sunset the viewpoint becomes very popular. It is the moment where you will find more people. Still worth visiting.


Teardrop Arch


To visit this arch you must book the guided tour. It's a shame you can't see it on your own. We could not see it, but it is impossible to leave it off the list having seen some photos. So if you like it, and want to see it, you know, you should book one of the tours.


If you decide not to do any guided tour and you miss it, don't worry, there is a National Park in Utah that you will love and it is full of reddish rock formations with beautiful arches; You can't miss The Arches National Park.


West and East Mitten Buttes


West and East Mitten Buttes are two beautiful geological formations. From the viewpoint of The View hotel you will be able to see them well, although they can be seen from various places in the park. Several of the previous photos are of this place, from different parts of the park and at different times.



WHAT TO SEE NEAR MONUMENT VALLEY


If you decide not to enter the park, you have other options nearby. Although I recommend that you do not miss Monument Valley, you will enjoy it!


You can visit the Valley of the Gods


There is an alternative if you don't want to visit Monument Valley or if when you visit you see that there are a lot of people and you prefer something quieter. It is a panoramic route of about 48 km where you will be able to appreciate rock formations identical to those found in Monument Valley Park.

That if, to do this route it is necessary that the car is 4x4 yes or yes. This route is completely free.


Natural Bridges National Monument


Very close to Monument Valley you will find this national monument. It is a curious rock formation that creates a kind of bridge, through which you can cross below.

In this area you can park your car nearby and enjoy a nice walk. There are some routes that go deeper, and if you feel like doing a more intense trekking you have the option.


In order to access it, it is necessary to pay an entrance fee or have the annual National Parks pass. Also, if you have the annual pass, the visit is free.




WHEN TO VISIT MONUMENT VALLEY


The best months to visit Utah in general are in the spring and fall. The summer months are very hot. You must take into account that Utah is very desert and if you travel in summer visiting the National Parks can be hell at noon.


Traveling in winter is beautiful, despite the fact that you will find somewhat icy roads, in Utah snow in many areas and the reddish National parks are covered in a blanket of snow.


WHERE TO STAY IN MONUMENT VALLEY


Many people choose to stay in somewhat larger cities like Page (in Arizona) even if they have to drive 2 hours one way + 2 hours back.

You also have the option of staying in some of the accommodations that you will find in the vicinity of the park, in nearby towns. Despite not having many services, it is the best option.


You should bear in mind that the Park is beautiful at sunrise and sunset, and the closer your accommodation is, the better.


If you travel by camper or caravan you have the option of parking in many places and there are even camping areas.


Some accommodations close to Monument Valley:




PLAN YOUR TRIP STEP BY STEP



I hope you enjoy your trip to Utah very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.


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A hug and see you soon!



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