Can You Drive Through Monument Valley? (2024)

Can You Drive Through Monument Valley? (1)

Can You Drive Through Monument Valley? (2)

Last Update onApril 14, 2024

by Marko Milin

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Hollywood’s favorite background setting, Monument Valley, is one of the most iconic destinations in the American Southwest. If you’re planning a trip near the region, a self-guided drive through Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park will bring you the best of nature’s wonderland–from gorgeous red rock creations to towering spires and buttes.

And if you’re wondering can you drive through Monument Valley, the answer is yes, and it’s easy to do! Below, we’ve summarized all you need to know to make your Monument Valley drive the best it can be.

Can You Drive Through Monument Valley? (3)

How to Drive Through Monument Valley

One of the ways to enjoy Monument Valley is by general admission. This allows you to enter the park for $20 per vehicle (with up to four people in each car) and drive the seventeen-mile scenic loop road up to the valley overlook, but not beyond.

Each additional person will be charged $6, and for children aged nine or younger, admission is free. If you want to explore Monument Valley through the general drive, we recommend booking your entry ticket online to save time on your visiting day.

The entry fee includes a free Valley Drive map, which lays out a route to visit the top attractions, starting from the visitor center.

The starting point is indicated with a star, and the route accessible to you will be traced in red. The map uses numbers to mark out stops on the drive route and is super easy to follow. Keep in mind that the park’s admittance hours change depending on the season, so consult its official website before heading out.

Are There Any Limitations to Self-Driving Through Monument Valley?

Unfortunately, there are some limitations to self-driving through Monument Valley. You will be more limited in terms of places you can explore because you will not be allowed to make an excursion near the hills, stray too far off the road, or access exclusive areas.

For instance, the southern part of the park (under Rain God Mesa) is only accessible with organized tours under a travel guide. So, if you want an unlimited exploring experience, a guided tour with a reputable company might be the best way to visit Monument Valley.

So to summarize:

1.Self-driving limits access to exclusive areas and scenic spots.

2.Organized tours provide access to restricted zones like Rain God Mesa.

3.Guided tours offer a comprehensive and unrestricted exploration experience.

Can You Drive Through Monument Valley? (4)

In a guided tour, you will be riding in your tour company’s vehicle, which will be open-air and can seat up to twelve passengers. These tours typically allow you to access off-limit areas of the valley.

Guided tours also bring a deeper exploration of the history and culture of the Navajo people and an appreciation for the region's unique geography.

So, for the full and unlimited experience of the Monument VAlley, you should really consider joining one of the National Park Tours from Las Vegas.

Best Stops on the Valley Drive

If you stick to the route traced out on the map, you’ll be guided through eleven of the most spectacular spots to see in Monument Valley. Below, we’ve highlighted the best of these views you absolutely shouldn’t miss.

  1. The Mittens and Merrick’s Butte

As one of the most famous landscapes in the world, no Monument Valley trip is complete without a visit to the Mitten and Merrick Buttes. Stop by these stunning, imposing rock formations for a wonderful picture to add to your memory book.

  1. Elephant Butte

Another of the park’s famous bizarre formations, this sandstone formation is supposed to resemble an elephant, making it well worth a visit!

Can You Drive Through Monument Valley? (5)
  1. Three Sisters

This is another great photo stop–the Three Sisters are three thin, oddly-shaped, gorgeous pinnacles; they are one of nature’s finest sculptures.

  1. John Ford’s Point

Any fan of classic western movies will jump at the opportunity to visit this scenic point, named after the famous director himself. For a few dollars, you can even get a picture of yourself on a horse for your very own John Wayne moment!

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  1. Camel Butte

Also called the Camel’s Hump, this striking rock formation will leave you awestruck.

  1. Rain God Mesa

Situated in the middle of the valley, this magnificent rock formation is worth visiting for its grandeur and size.

Additional Tips

Make sure to pack lots of drinking water in an insulated water bottle as it can get quite hot during the day, and the valley does not have any drinking facilities or restrooms. Additionally, the sun in this part of Utah is quite strong–especially during the summers–so bring a large hat and apply lots of high-SPF sunscreen beforehand.

Wearing light, breathable clothing can help you stay cool and comfortable throughout your visit. It's also a good idea to bring snacks, as there are limited food options available in the park.

  • Wear sturdy hiking boots for better traction on the rocky terrain.
  • Bring a camera or smartphone to capture the stunning landscapes and unique rock formations.


In conclusion, Monument Valley offers a unique and breathtaking experience, whether you choose a self-guided drive or an organized tour. While self-driving allows you to explore the scenic loop at your own pace, guided tours provide access to exclusive areas and deeper insights into Navajo culture and the story behind Monument Valley.

For the most comprehensive and unrestricted visit, joining a tour with a reputable company is highly recommended. Ultimately, Monument Valley promises unforgettable memories and stunning landscapes that are not to be missed.

Related Reading: 3 Day Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley Tour

Can You Drive Through Monument Valley? (7)


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Can You Drive Through Monument Valley? (2024)


Can You Drive Through Monument Valley? ›

Drive Through the Valley

Can you self drive through Monument Valley? ›

Explore the “Wild West” of Hollywood and Navajo history as you drive through Monument Valley's dramatic landscape. This self-guided audio tour along a 17-mile Navajo route allows you to enjoy the incredible panoramas while learning about Navajo culture, tribal history, and Hollywood stardom.

How long does it take to drive through Monument Valley? ›

The drive through Monument Valley covers a 17-mile (27 km) loop road. Most people spend about 3 hours driving through the valley, but some people spend as little as 2 hours or even longer than 4 hours, and basically it all depends on you and how much time do you want to spend at Monument Valley.

Is it worth driving through Monument Valley? ›

Exploring Monument Valley on your own can definitely be worth it and might actually be preferable, depending on what kind of traveler you are. If you want to have more control over your tour and explore at your own pace, a self-guided tour of Monument Valley is your best bet.

Are the roads paved in Monument Valley? ›

The route doesn't really begin until after you enter Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, off U.S. Route 163. Once you're in the park, continue until you reach the parking lot of The View Hotel and veer left. Valley Drive kicks off where the pavement turns to dirt.

Can you drive the 17-mile loop in Monument Valley? ›

Private vehicles are allowed to enter the park as far as the main viewpoint at the visitor center. In addition, 25 private vehicles at a time are allowed on the 17-mile Tribal Valley Loop.

Can you drive a car in Monument Valley? ›

Drive Through the Valley

The Monument Valley Loop is a 17-mile rugged road that takes you into the heart of the park. While you can see the buttes from Hwy. 163, it's well worth entering the park and driving the scenic loop to get up close and personal with the remarkable rock formations.

Can you do Monument Valley without a tour? ›

Yes, you can tour Monument Valley on your own.

Like a Bryce and Zion tour, a visit to Monument Valley will let you see some of the most iconic and breathtaking landscapes in the world.

How much does it cost to go through Monument Valley? ›

Monument Valley Fees, Permits & Hours

Fees: $8 per person per day. Children 7 and under are free. Visitor Center hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., year-round. Scenic Drive summer hours: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Last vehicles are permitted onto the drive at 6 p.m. and must depart it by 8 p.m.

What is the best time of year to visit Monument Valley? ›

Fall and spring are the best times to visit Monument Valley. This is when temperatures are most pleasant. If you are looking for warm days and comfortable nights, we recommend September as the best month to visit Monument Valley. Monument Valley is cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

Is it worth staying overnight at Monument Valley? ›

Short answer to this would be - definitely yes.

Staying overnight in Monument Valley offers an experience that goes beyond the typical day trip, allowing visitors to witness the park in all its changing lights and moods.

What is the famous road in Monument Valley? ›

From the Arizona border, Scenic Byway 163 travels northeast through Monument Valley past Mexican Hat and then ends in Bluff, Utah. The redrock desert and spires of scenic Monument Valley have been the setting for countless movies and advertisem*nts.

What are the rules for Monument Valley? ›

Stay away from residential areas and leave private property alone. It's not permitted to take pictures of the Natives without first asking permission. The contents that you pack with you cannot be left behind. Don't burn or bury any type of refuse, including food scraps and garbage, as decomposition can take years.

Is it free to drive through Monument Valley? ›

One of the ways to enjoy Monument Valley is by general admission. This allows you to enter the park for $20 per vehicle (with up to four people in each car) and drive the seventeen-mile scenic loop road up to the valley overlook, but not beyond.

Can I tour Monument Valley on my own? ›

However, you can take the scenic drive through the park on your own as long as you don't wander too far away from the road. There's still plenty you can see from the 17-mile scenic road that winds through Monument Valley, so it's well worth a trip even if you don't hire a guide to gain access to the off-limits areas.

How long is the scenic drive in Monument Valley? ›

While visiting the Monument Valley, you will need to try the 17-mile loop drive for a view of the scenic beauty and magnificent formations. Currently, with the monsoon season we want all travelers to know that the valley drive has very rough terrain and deep sand dunes.

Do you need a pass to drive Monument Valley? ›

General admission to drive the 17-mile scenic loop road is $20 per car for up to 4 people, ages 9 or younger are free. Save time by purchasing your entry fee online (you'll also find admittance hours and closings). Entry fee also includes a free Monument Valley drive map.

How long does it take to drive from Monument Valley to Page? ›

Monument Valley is a 2-2.5 hour drive, one way, from Page, Arizona.

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