How Can I Visit Monument Valley When All The Hotels Are Booked - Antelope Canyon (2024)

Monument Valley

How Can I Visit Monument Valley When All The Hotels Are Booked?

Even if you don’t know it by name, you definitely know it by sight. Monument Valley has been featured in so many movies, TV shows, music videos, and commercials, it’s become one of the most iconic and recognizable landscapes in the American Southwest. So we don’t blame you one bit for wanting to include it in your Northern Arizona/Southern Utah vacation itinerary! Unfortunately, that might fall into the category of “easier said than done” if your vacation is just around the corner.

Monument Valley is a Native American Tribal Park located on the border of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, in the Navajo Indian Reservation. It’s one of the most sparsely populated regions in the Four Corners area, and as such, hotels are few and far between as well. In the immediate vicinity of the Monument Valley Tribal Park, you’ll find the historic Goulding’s Lodge and The View Hotel, built in the early 2000’s. The nearby communities of Kayenta, AZ, Tuba City, AZ, Bluff, UT, and Mexican Hat, UT, have a handful of motels, campgrounds, and AirB&B type properties, but even when you factor those in, that doesn’t add up to a whole lot of rooms. Therefore, it’s not unusual to find lodging in this beautiful area booked several months in advance. If you’re finding that to be the case when you want to visit, no need to cross it off your “bucket list.” Monument Valley can easily be visited as a day trip from Page, Arizona!

Monument Valley is a 2-2.5 hour drive, one way, from Page, Arizona. Simply proceed South on Coppermine Road, then turn left on Highway 98 East, past Antelope Canyon. Another option is to visit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise, head back North on US89 as if you were returning to Page, but instead turn right on Highway 98 (just in front of the “Welcome to Page” sign). Proceed Southeast on Highway 98 for approximately 65 miles until you hit US160 near the town of Shonto, AZ. Turn left on US160 and head East for approximately 45 miles. In the town of Kayenta, AZ, you’ll then turn left on US163 and head North for about 25 miles until you reach Monument Valley!

How Can I Visit Monument Valley When All The Hotels Are Booked - Antelope Canyon (1)

Effective 2022, those wishing to self-drive the 17-mile scenic loop through Monument Valley should purchase their entrance ticket in advance.

  • Per Vehicle Pass: $20 per non-commercial vehicle up to 4 people ($6 each additional passenger)

  • Per Individual Pass: $10 per walk-in, bicycle, or motorcycle

  • Commercial Pass: (based on capacity of vehicle)

  • 1-4 Passengers: $35 (additional $6 each)

  • 5-15 Passengers: $100

  • 15-25 Passengers: $125

  • 26+ Passengers: $300

Only a limited number of SUVs or vehicles with higher clearance will be admitted. Those who pass muster by on-site security will have access to world-famous vistas such as:

  • The Mittens

  • John Ford’s Point

  • Elephant Butte

  • The Three Sisters

  • Totem Pole and Ye’i Bi Chei

  • North Window

  • …and more

Parties in rental cars should be aware that this technically constitutes off-road driving, which will void your insurance the minute your tires part ways with pavement. For this reason, you may wish to play it safe and book a Navajo-guided tour of not only the Monument Valley loop drive, but areas of the backcountry that are only accessible with an authorized escort.

Guided tours of Monument Valley vary in length and mode of travel, from horseback, jeep, and hiking tours lasting just a couple of hours, to all-inclusive overnight camping tours conducted in customized 4WD vehicles. Doing a little research ahead of time and making an advance booking are recommended so you can enjoy an experience that’s appropriate for your family’s physical fitness level and interests, and allow you to begin the return drive to Page, AZ, well before sunset.

At some point, you’ll probably want/need to grab lunch. Kayenta, AZ, offers the most numerous choices of both chain and independent restaurants. The local Burger King has a fascinating on-site museum commemorating the contributions of the Navajo Code Talkers to the Allied Forces victory over the Japanese in World War II. It’s definitely worth a stop even if you pass on a Whopper. If you’re doing a day trip to Monument Valley, especially on one of the shorter days of the year, you may wish to pack a picnic or sack lunch the night prior so you can spend your limited number of daylight hours sightseeing instead of searching for a place to eat.

That brings us to the point of timing. In order to make a day trip from Page, AZ, to Monument Valley work, you must be aware of a couple of important things: during Daylight Saving Time, the Navajo Reservation will be one hour ahead of Page, AZ, since Page remains on Mountain Standard Time year-round. You must factor this in when making tour reservations in Monument Valley. Another consideration is that nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. This is due to the fact that roads are very dimly lit on the Navajo Reservation, and animals such as deer, elk, free range cattle, feral horses, sheep, and goats may be wandering about, which can be very disconcerting and dangerous. You should ensure that if you take a guided tour, that it will end at least 2 hours before sunset on Page, AZ, time, which will be one hour behind Navajo Reservation time during the months when Daylight Savings Time is in effect. If you’re visiting during the winter (Standard Time) months, the Navajo Reservation is on the same time as Page. Check Sunrise & Sunset Times Monument Valley, UT

If the prospect of self-driving on a day trip to Monument Valley doesn’t appeal, you’ll be glad to know that several Page, AZ, tour companies offer guided excursions that can get you there in safety and comfort. These include, but are not limited to:

  • 90-minute fixed wing airplane tours – Westwind Air Service at the Page Municipal Airport – 928-645-2494
  • Half-day air/ground combination tours – Westwind Air Service at the Page Municipal Airport – 928-645-2494
  • Full day van tours – Dixie Ellis’ Lower Antelope Canyon Tours – (928) 640-1761

One Response

How Can I Visit Monument Valley When All The Hotels Are Booked - Antelope Canyon (2024)


Can you visit Monument Valley on your 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.

Does Monument Valley require reservations? ›

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.

How much time do you need to see 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.

Do I need a tour guide at Monument Valley? ›

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.

Does Monument Valley have a visitor center? ›

From the visitor center, you see the world-famous panorama of the Mitten Buttes and Merrick Butte. You can also purchase guided tours from Navajo tour operators, who take you down into the valley in Jeeps for a narrated cruise through these mythical formations.

Do I need a pass to drive through Monument Valley? ›

All areas on the Navajo Nation are Closed to non-Navajos unless you have a valid pass or permit issued by the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department or other delegated tribal authority. Failure to have a permit is considered Trespassing on a Federal Indian Reservation.

Can I drive my car through 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. Entrance to the loop is regulated by a free permit upon arrival; permits are first come, first served.

Can you hike in Monument Valley without a guide? ›

The Wildcat Trail is the only self-guided trail in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. From the parking overlooking the scenic drive at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, you'll see a handful of towering buttes rise from the desert floor and reach for the expansive sky.

What is the easiest way to get to Monument Valley? ›

So, how do you get to Monument Valley? The easiest way is to fly into one of the major cities in Arizona or Utah, renting a car to road trip your way to this remote valley. Las Vegas and Salt Lake City are the two most famed international airports and around a 7-hour drive from the valley.

What is the best tour in Monument Valley? ›

  1. Monument Valley Tour. ...
  2. 2.5 Hours of Monument Valley's Backcountry 4×4 Tour. ...
  3. 3.0 Hours of Monument Valley's Sunrise or Sunset 4×4 Tour. ...
  4. Monument Valley Daytime Tour - 3 Hours - Navajo Spirit Tours. ...
  5. 1.5 Hour Tour of Monument Valley's Loop Drive. ...
  6. Sunset Tour of Monument Valley. ...
  7. Dreamcatcher Evening Experience in Monument Valley.

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.

How long is the drive from Antelope Canyon to Monument Valley? ›

The drive from Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon takes about 2 hours and covers roughly 115 miles (185 km). These locations are not right next to each other, but they're not too far apart either. If you're staying in a town near one or the other, such as Page or Kayenta. doing both in a day is much more doable.

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 closest town to Monument Valley? ›

The nearest town to Monument Valley is Mexican Hat, a short drive to the northeast on U.S. 163. For more lodging and dining options, continue along this same highway for another 20 minutes to reach Bluff.

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.

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.

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.

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