Monument Valley is located on the Utah-Arizona border and is part of the Colorado Plateau in the western USA. Most of the tourist area is called the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. It sits within the Navajo Nation Reservation and is not officially a National Park.
The valley was an obscure, seldom-visited location until the 1930s. The Navajo Indians who lived on the land were the only ones aware of this place’s beauty. It wasn’t until it was featured in well-known films (including Stagecoach and Rio Grande) that Monument Valley began to experience some popularity.
It has been featured in many famous movies, including Forrest Gump, National Lampoons Vacation, Mission: Impossible II, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the HBO series Westworld.
The amazing beauty of the pristine desert landscape also reflects the reverence Arizona’s tribal communities have for the land. Monument Valley’s collection of crimson towering sandstone buttes and mesas captures only natural colours.
Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation maintains the valley as a visitor attraction. Visitors can drive a 17-mile dirt loop on self-guided valley tours. Multiple parking areas along the way bring many of the park’s most spectacular rock formations into view. Or set off on the only public hike in the valley, an easy 3-mile loop trail that takes visitors to Mitten Butte, one of the most iconic landmarks of the American West. Visitors can also join guided Jeep tours to view ancient cliff dwellings and natural arches.
While the area is remote and services are limited, small towns such as Dennehotso and Kayenta have restaurants and convenience stores to stock up on road trip supplies. The Colorado Plateau area encompassing the Arizona-Utah border features some of the most scenic drives in the United States. Also, The View Hotel offers an overnight option with rooms and cabins that capture magnificent views of the valley. RVs and camping in Monument Valley allow you to fully surround yourself with stunning rock outcroppings that come to life with colour and light every sunrise and sunset.