Can You Tour Monument Valley on Your Own? (2024)

Yes, you can tour Monument Valley on your own. This entails driving the 17-mile loop and planning your own itinerary. Alternatively, you can book a tour that will take you around the area.

The unique, red rock formations of Monument Valley make it easy to see why it’s so popular with tourists. 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.

In this article, we'll show you how to enjoy Monument Valley on your own, discuss tips on what to do if you're planning to drive, as well as share the benefits of booking a guided tour.

Can You Tour Monument Valley on Your Own? (1)

How to Tour Monument Valley

If you're planning to drive, the 17-mile loop is the driving trail of Monument Valley. It's also called Valley Drive or the Tribal Park Loops. It takes you to some of the most scenic attractions within the valley (more on those in the next section).

You will need to pay an access fee of $20 per vehicle, which will also get you a map that lays out the route to see all of the attractions. It's important to note that the 17-mile loop is a one-way road.

The road is unpaved and pretty bumpy. Regular cars can take it but it can be a bit challenging if it'll be your first time driving in this area. Check out this blog post about driving through Monument Valley for tips on how to be prepared for your driving tour!

If you're not comfortable driving on unpaved roads or want to save yourself the hassle, then we recommend booking a tour from a reliable tour company like MaxTour. All the transportation will be taken care of for you and you'll be taken to all of the best spots!

Can You Tour Monument Valley on Your Own? (2)

Things to Do on a Self-Guided Monument Valley Tour

At first glance, it might seem like there's not much going on here. Make no mistake, though — there are so many things to see in Monument Valley!

The highlights of Monument Valley are, of course, the towering rock formations known as buttes. These natural sculptures come in all shapes and sizes. The most famous of them all are the two Mittens Buttes and the Merrick's Butte. Another popular trio is the Three Sisters. The oddly-shaped Elephant Butte is yet another must-see attraction.

To get out of the car and stretch your legs, take on the Wildcat Trail. This hiking trail is just over 3 miles (about 5 km) long. It's a loop that takes you around the West Mitten Butte.

During the summer. the Haskenneini restaurant within the visitor center is open for business. They serve up a fine selection of both Navajo and American cuisine. If you're a history buff (or a lover of Westerns), consider a visit to Goulding's Trading Post Museum!

If you're only interested in the few most popular sights, touring Monument Valley will take you about two to three hours. If you have the time, though, you can spend a whole day here and experience everything the valley has to offer!

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Reasons to Tour Monument Valley on Your Own

Move at Your Own Pace

Guided tours will have some flexibility but, for the most part, they'll be working at a set schedule. The biggest advantage of touring Monument Valley independently is being able to take things at your own pace.

If you want to be in and out within an hour, you can do so. If you want to stay in the valley all day, you can do that, too! Change your mind about your plans halfway through the day? No problem.

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Plan Your Adventure the Way You Want It

Everyone has different things they want to see at Monument Valley. Attractions like the Mittens and Merrick Buttes will be on most people's itineraries but even those will vary.

Some people want to hike all day. Others want to see every single exhibit at the museum. Many people visit the valley just for landscape photography and plan their whole visit around that.

Rather than sticking to a predetermined itinerary, touring Monument Valley on your own enables you to do things your way!

Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones

Group tours, especially small group tours like those offered by MaxTour, offer a great opportunity to meet new people and broaden your horizons.

Some people, however, simply prefer for themselves and their companions — whether friends, family, or a partner — to make the trip independently.

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Reasons to Book a Guided Monument Valley Tour

Get a More In-Depth Experience of Monument Valley

Tours can be a great way to learn about an area, especially if you have a knowledgeable guide. They can share interesting facts and stories that you might not otherwise hear. They can also provide you with expert knowledge of the area to help you understand the history and culture of the region.

Relax and Enjoy the Views

A trip to a national park can be stressful, especially if you want to visit multiple places and have limited time. When you take a guided tour, you can relax and enjoy the sights without worrying about planning, transportation, or finding your way around.

A guide will ensure you make the most of your time by prioritizing what you should see and how much time to spend at each stop.

Visit Areas That Aren't Accessible to the General Public

While the general public is welcome to explore most of the valley, some areas are off-limits to all but guided tours. These areas include sensitive ecological habitats and private property.

By taking a guided tour, visitors can ensure that they can see everything the valley has to offer without damaging delicate ecosystems or trespassing.

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In Summary

Guided tours from MaxTour provide an opportunity to learn about the area from knowledgeable guides. You'll get the chance to sit back, enjoy the experience, and meet other travelers without worrying about logistics.

However, if you're short on time and in for more adventure, driving through the park on your own can still be a great way to see its amazing landscapes. No matter how you choose to enjoy the park, there's no doubt you'll be amazed by its natural beauty!

If you'd love to visit Monument Valley but you're actually not sure how to even get there in the first place, check out our post on how to visit Monument Valley!

Can You Tour Monument Valley on Your Own? (2024)


Can I visit Monument Valley by myself? ›

Yes, you can tour Monument Valley on your own.

This entails driving the 17-mile loop and planning your own itinerary. Alternatively, you can book a tour that will take you around the area. The unique, red rock formations of Monument Valley make it easy to see why it's so popular with tourists.

Can you see Monument Valley without paying? ›

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.

Do you need a guide to visit Monument Valley? ›

There are three sections of Monument Valley Tribal Park for which you do not need a guide: the 17-mile Scenic Drive, the Wildcat Trail, and the views from The View Hotel. You can also see some great scenery from US Route 163 including Forest Gump Point. However, a guide is required to visit the backcountry.

Can you hike in Monument Valley without a guide? ›

The Wildcat Trail is the only self-guided trail in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, but the route offers some world-class scenery as it takes hikers for a walk through the world-famous Mitten Buttes and Merrick Butte.

Can I drive my car through Monument Valley? ›

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.

How long does it take to drive the loop in Monument Valley? ›

The drive through Monument Valley covers a 17-mile (27 km) loop road. Most people spend about 3 hours driving through Monument Valley, but some people spend as little as 2 hours or even longer than 4 hours.

Is it worth it to buy Monument Valley? ›

The Bottom Line

With jaw-dropping artistic level design and challenges people of all ages can enjoy, Monument Valley is well worth your money.

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.

How can I see Monument Valley for free? ›

If you want to visit Monument Valley for free, enter the park when it is closed and stay at one of its campsites or hotels. This way, you don't have to pay the Monument Valley entry fee whilst being able to see incredible views the next morning.

What is the best month 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.

What not to miss in Monument Valley? ›

These are the very best things to do in the incredible valley.
  • Experience Monument Valley Tribal Park on Horseback. ...
  • Take a Jeep Tour. ...
  • Navajo Shadehouse Museum. ...
  • Visit West, East, and Merrick Butte. ...
  • Drive Monument Valley Drive with Photo Stops. ...
  • Elephant Butte. ...
  • John Ford's Point. ...
  • Wildcat Trail.
Jan 31, 2024

Can I tour Monument Valley on my own? ›

Because the land is located inside the Navajo Nation, taking a full Monument Valley tour requires you to hire a local tour guide. 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.

Is a guided tour of Monument Valley worth it? ›

You could easily spend an afternoon driving the entire loop without needing to hire a tour guide, so the answer really depends on how much of the park you'd like to explore – as well as how much you want to spend. Both ways of seeing Monument Valley are well worth your time.

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

Do I Need a Reservation to Visit Monument Valley? No reservations are necessary to enter the park, but there is an $8 per person, per day entry fee.

Is Monument Valley 1 free? ›

The second is also fairly short. It has a few slightly more complicated levels, and a new mechanic of having two characters on some levels. And of course the music, visuals, etc are all beautiful.

How long do you need to stay in Monument Valley? ›

Immersing in the Landscape: A Full Experience

To truly immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of Monument Valley, consider spending a night or two. Staying overnight allows you to experience the sunset and sunrise, which are absolutely magical here.

Do you need a pass to drive Monument Valley? ›

Avoid this road after heavy rains. How much does it cost to drive the Monument Valley Loop drive? The current (2023) price for visiting the Monument Valley Loop is $8 per person, per entry, per location. National Park Passes are not accepted as this is a Navajo tribal park.

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