Monument Valley, USA: description, history and interesting facts

Monument Valley, USA: description, history and interesting facts
Monument Valley, USA: description, history and interesting facts

Monument Valley in the USA is one of the must-see wonders of the world! Red rock pillars, blue sky, a plain that plays with colors depending on the lighting - such bright colors, silence and majestic expanses make up the landscape of the valley.

This unique place attracts with its spectacular and unearthly beauty, here the mountains, located at a distance from each other on a flat plain, rise high up, and each mountain is not like the next one.

Location of Monument Valley

Located on the border of southeastern Utah and northeastern Arizona, Monument Valley, or Monument Valley, covers an area of ​​over 330,000 km2. The correct name of the valley on the Colorado Plateau is Navajo Tribal Park Monument Valley, this is the name that must be loaded into the navigator. Plateau coordinates 39059’ N, 110006’ W

Back to the past: how Monument Valley was formed in America

Only time, water and winds created this miracle of nature, man did not take part in this centuries-old process.

Monument Valley in the USA

How the Monument Valley in Arizona was formed, geologists determined back in19 Art. During the Mesozoic, there was a sea on the site of the Colorado Plateau, its bottom was an accumulation of sandy layers. At the end of the Mesozoic era, tectonic processes changed the earth's surface, and the seabed rose up, forming a plateau. Soft rocks were weathered and eroded until only remnant rocks, consisting of dense layers of red sandstone, remained above the plain. At first, the rocks were flat mesas, but then, as a result of the action of air and water, they began to look like columns, spiers and towers. The highest of them reach a height of 300 m.

Scientists distinguish several types of rocks in Monument Valley:

  • remains of table mountains – Mesa;
  • rock becomes thinner and smaller, acquiring relief – Butte;
  • the last stage, when the rock becomes like a spire - Spire.
Unique rocks of the valley

Confirmation that grandiose tectonic changes took place in these places is the fact that just 300 km from Monument Valley is the Grand Canyon - another unique natural place.

Unique rock formations

When going to see the American miracle, Monument Valley, it is worth knowing that each bizarre rock has a name that it was designated either by the Navajo Indians who have long inhabited this land, or by the first American settlers.

Valley view from above

The Yei Bi Chei rock was named after the Navajo tribal spirits, The East and West Mitten Buyyes look like hands that,according to the Indians, belong to the gods. Near Rain God is a place of worship for the god of rain.

There are rocks named for their resemblance to a camel, a cowboy boot, an elephant, or the hub of a railroad wheel. The most famous mountain is The Three Sisters. Monument Valley is the land of Martian landscapes and has become a source of inspiration for many artists and entertainers. John Ford's Point and Artist's Point are named after them.

Interesting in Monument Valley

Monument Valley is just a small part of the Native American Navajo Tribal Park.

Once the Navajo lived here on the reservation, but then managed to attract tourists by offering them a lot of entertainment in addition to the unique natural weathering.

What else can you see in Monument Valley?

  1. Hogan Village. This is an Indian village, which presents a colorful national life. Instead of houses, there are tents, different for men and women. Women live in tents with a round roof, men in gabled ones. Houses are heated by hearths. Indians often perform various ceremonies in the village.
  2. Park area of ​​stone arches. Bridge-like heaps of sandstone bear the poetic names Dark Angel, Vault of Heaven, Old Maid's Attire, Farewell. The strongest impression is left by the huge Rainbow Bridge next to the drying Bridge Creek. This stone arch, 100 meters high and 10 meters wide, casts delicate shades of brown, blue, pink, red, and the bridge is amazingly symmetrical.
  3. BThe Painted Desert in the south has a stunning forest, because the trees in it are not living, but stone. It is assumed that the wood was fossilized in the Mesozoic period. The largest exhibits have their own poetic names: Crystal Forest, Jasper Forest, Blue Mountain. On the chips of huge snags, reaching a height of 30 m with a trunk diameter of up to 2 m, crystals of onyx, jasper, and quartz are visible to the naked eye.
  4. Behind the forest is a temple made of stone trunks. Temple Agate House attracts tourists with its powerful energy that affects everyone who enters.
  5. The must-see place is John Ford's Point observation deck. It was this point that served as the stage for most of the films shot in the park. In addition, amazing landscape photographs are obtained from here.
Rock pillar in the valley

Methods of moving around the valley

Although Monument Valley occupies a large part of the Colorado Plateau, only a small area is open to visitors. You can see everything in 1 day in different ways:

  1. By car. The ring route is 27 km. Stops are allowed only in designated places, but at these points the most beautiful views of the surrounding nature. It is impossible to get lost, because the route is marked with milestones and signs. You can go by car on your own, or as part of an organized group in a jeep or bus. In this case, there is a chance to get into closed areas, see the most picturesque places and listen to the fascinating stories of Indian guides. Tours last as long as 3 hours,and the whole day.
  2. On a horse. Such an adventure leaves no one indifferent. The horse can be hired for an hour or all day.
  3. Hiking. The best option for those who want to get to know the Monument Valley. For tourists, tracks are offered with a length of 3 km and a duration of several hours to a day. The most interesting is called Wildcat Natural Walk, it passes by the main attractions of the park. Going on a hiking trip, in the visitor center you need to stock up on a map of the area and a description of the route, as well as follow the rules: do not deviate from the marked signs, take water and wear the right shoes.

What not to do in the park

The Indians carefully guard and protect their territory, so you should carefully consider their prohibitions, especially since there are not so many of them:

  • don't take pictures of Indians without permission;
  • do not enter Indian houses;
  • do not leave or leave the trail;
  • do not climb rocks;
  • do not drink alcohol.

It is considered good manners after the tour to buy a few souvenirs, especially since there is something to see in the shop. Indian silver jewelry, woven rugs and blankets, amulets and figurines will be a great gift for your loved ones.

Price to visit the park

Entrance to Indian Territory is subject to Navajo fares and does not include any discounts or benefits that apply to other US national parks.

Cheapest visitMonument Valley will cost a lone tourist - only $ 6. You will have to pay the same for a motorcycle. For the right to stay overnight and spend 24 hours in the valley, you have to pay 12 dollars. The car fare is paid based on its dimensions (at the same time, no one canceled the passenger fee) and ranges from $20 for a passenger car with 4 passengers to $300 for a tourist bus.

How the park works

Monument Valley is interesting to visit at any time of the year, but you should take into account the opening hours of the park. From May to September, you can go to the museum and for a walk from 8 to 20 hours, from October to April - from 8 to 17 hours. There is also a time for trips around the territory: from October to April - from 8 to 17 hours, from May to September - from 6 to 20:30.

Where to stay

If you want to enjoy the views in Monument Valley and take amazing photos, you will have to stay up late. After all, exceptional photos of rock towers are obtained at dawn or sunset. You can relax and spend the night in the park hotel.

Inn in Monument Valley

How to get to the valley

The easiest way to get to Monument Valley is from New York. To do this, you need to transfer from the Big Apple to a flight to Flagstaff, where you can rent a car at the airport and drive about 300 km.

From Las Vegas to the valley will have to travel 640 km.

The only way to get to the places of unique weathering is by car or bus.

Road to Monument Valley


Monument Valley has become a film set for many Hollywood blockbusters, among them the well-known "Forrest Gump", "Back to the Future 3" and others.

Cowboy-themed commercials are most often filmed in the valley.

Monument Valley is translated from the Navajo language as “the place between the rocks, where there is no tree.”

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