Is Monument Valley Worth It (2024)

Is Monument Valley Worth It (1)

Is Monument Valley Worth It (2)

Last Update onMarch 04, 2023

by Maxtour

Table of Contents

Primary Item (H2)

Known for its towering sandstone buttes, panoramic vistas, and colossal mesas, Monument Valley is considered one of the United States’ most iconic landscapes.

Despite its popularity, Monument Valley's distance from pretty much everything makes many tourists hesitant to visit at first.

Short answer: Monument Valley is absolutely worth visiting!

Long answer: The valley is so much more than just a couple of rocks in the middle of nowhere. With a wide variety of scenic drives, hiking trails, cultural attractions, and amazing guided tours, there is much to see at Monument Valley to keep you and your group entertained.

However, if you’re still wondering whether or not you should visit, we’ve highlighted some of the best features of this location. We've also broken down what it's like to explore solo versus on a guided tour!

Is Monument Valley Worth It (3)

What Is Monument Valley?

Monument Valley is a red-sand desert region on the border of Arizona and Utah. The most characteristic features here are the towering sandstone formations.

This gorgeous landscape was previously overlooked and rather obscure until the 1930s. Since then, the valley has been featured in some of Hollywood’s biggest hits, from Forrest Gump to Mission Impossible: II (and a bunch of Western films, of course!).

Hollywood pushed the area into the spotlight and brought immense economic growth, transforming it into the tourist hotspot we know today.

Before that, however, Monument Valley was already important to the native inhabitants of the land. The valley is a sacred area within the territory of the Navajo Nation. They call it Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii, which means "valley of the rocks."

Monument Valley is not a national park or national monument in itself but is considered part of the Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park.

Is Monument Valley Worth It (4)

Things to Do in Monument Valley

You can catch a glimpse of Monument Valley for free if you drive through the U.S. Route 163, but that won’t allow you to truly immerse yourself in what the area has to offer.

We recommend paying the entrance fee and getting up close and personal with the scenic landscape, as well as taking on the hiking trails and visiting the various attractions! There are quite a lot of things to see and do in Monument Valley; here are just a few.

Marvel at the Rock Formations

Monument Valley is filled with sandstone buttes — isolated, steep hills that usually have flat tops. They look majestic and almost otherworldly in the middle of the red-sand desert!

The buttes range in height from around 400 to 1000 feet (120 to 300 m). The most famous and impressive ones are the Mitten Buttes and Merrick Butte, which form a triangle. Another one to keep your eye out for is the slender Totem Pole, a 500-foot (150-meter), dart-like formation.

Explore the Valley on the Wildcat Trail

The Wildcat Trail is the only self-guided trail in Monument Valley Park, so you don't have to pay extra and you can take it on at your own pace. It is also one of the easier and shorter trails, usually taking about 2 to 3 hours in total.

This 4-mile loop is incredibly scenic and takes you to some of the most iconic rock formations in the valley, including Merrick Butte and the Mitten Buttes!

Get a Glimpse of History at Goulding's Trading Post Museum

For a unique, first-hand look into the trading and cultural history of the Navajos and other Native Americans, take a stop at Goulding's Trading Post Museum.

Here, you can see a showroom where locals would trade goods. You can see artifacts and photographs from those bygone days, as well as exclusive photos and props from the movie sets of Westerns that were filmed here!

Is Monument Valley Worth It (5)

Is Monument Valley Worth Exploring on My Own?

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. Simply paying a park entrance fee allows you to access most of the region's breathtaking landscapes.

Though you can enter and explore much of the valley on your own, there is only one hiking trail that you can access without a guide: Wildcat Trail. There is also a driving trail that you can take on your own, using a free map that you can get from the Visitors Center.

Seeing just the main few attractions at Monument Valley will probably only take you about 2 to 4 hours. If you have the time, however, it'd be good to explore more of the lesser-known attractions the valley has to offer!

Is Monument Valley Worth It (6)

Are Monument Valley Guided Tours Worth It?

Guided tours are one of the most popular ways to explore Monument Valley. Just as we discuss our Bryce Canyon tour in our post on how to visit Bryce Canyon, there are also equally beneficial guided tours for Monument Valley.

Guided tours are usually worth it, since all of the planning and transportation are taken care of for you and you can focus on enjoying the experience. In fact, you can have a full 3-day trip to Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, and more planned out for you!

While on a guided tour, you can better discover the incredible local culture of the Navajo Nation. If you’re a geography enthusiast, you might also enjoy the tour guide’s explanations of the region’s fascinating rock formations and other interesting facts as you drive along.

Another perk of taking a guided tour is that, as tour guides are so familiar with the area, they can take you to lesser-known locations outside of the general tourist routes!

No matter how you want to traverse Monument Valley, there is a guided tour available for explorers of all kinds!

Is Monument Valley Worth It (7)

Final Thoughts

Whether you prefer solo exploring or traveling as part of a guided tour, Monument Valley has much to offer and is well worth your time.

With its red rock formations, sandy plains, and desert landscapes, it’s easy to see why this area has been the backdrop of some of Hollywood’s most iconic films. This unique and magical region is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits!

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Monument Valley with MaxTour today!

Is Monument Valley Worth It (8)



Read Our Data Based Study: The Best Hotels In Las Vegas

Is Monument Valley Worth It (9)READ NOW

Most Popular Posts

October 13, 2023

Grand Canyon vs Antelope Canyon: How to Choose Between These Two Can't Miss Destinations

August 31, 2022

5 Amazing Facts about the Grand Canyon (Will #1 Gross You Out?!)

April 26, 2021

The Truth about Resort Fees in Las Vegas

April 14, 2021

West Rim vs. South Rim of the Grand Canyon (Easy To Follow Guide)

Is Monument Valley Worth It (2024)


Is Monument Valley Worth It? ›

Short answer: Monument Valley is absolutely worth visiting!

Why is Monument Valley so special? ›

It's crucial to recognize that Monument Valley is not just a park, but a sacred place to the Navajo people. For them, it's a significant cultural and spiritual location imbued with stories, traditions, and symbolic meaning passed down through generations.

How much time do you need at Monument Valley? ›

Unless you decide to take a guided tour, there's probably no reason to spend more than five or six hours in Monument Valley. The sights are gorgeous, but the loop itself is fairly short and you can't really do any exploring on your own. Still, it's a great way to spend a morning or afternoon with your family.

Is the Monument Valley game worth the money? ›

Simply put: A masterpiece! Although many users are still reluctant to buy the game at $3.99 but boy, does the game justifies the price. The game is available on iOS, Android and was recently made available on Windows Phone. It has won numerous awards including Apple Design Award.

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.

Is it worth it to go to 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.

How long does it take to complete 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.

Why is Monument Valley game so popular? ›

This April marks the tenth anniversary of Ustwo Games' breakout hit, Monument Valley. The qualities that make Monument Valley a great game are multifaceted, every aspect of it potentially worth dissecting, from its art direction to its narrative design to its minimalism.

How many nights do you need in Monument Valley? ›

Since it takes about three hours to get to Monument Valley from almost anywhere else in the vicinity, it helps to stay overnight, at least one night. This gives you the opportunity to do a sunrise and/or sunset tour if you desire. The must-do activities are the Valley Drive and the view from Forrest Gump Point.

Are they making Monument Valley 3? ›

Monument Valley 3 is an upcoming Ustwo game.

Can I drive my own car through Monument Valley? ›

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!

How much does it cost to enter 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 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.

Is Monument Valley a spiritual place? ›

The valley is considered sacred by the Navajo Nation, the Native American people within whose reservation it lies. The Monument Valley View Hotel. Monument Valley has been featured in many forms of media since the 1930s.

Did Monument Valley used to be underwater? ›

The oldest of the formations show that this area was once submerged as a marine environment. Ancient seas came and went throughout the geologic history of Monument Valley. Additionally, there are some locations with Igneous rocks cropping out.

How many movies have been filmed in Monument Valley? ›

The landscape of Monument Valley - 92,000 acres filled with colossal sandstone formations straddling the Arizona-Utah state line - has become as iconic of America as Wayne himself, with appearances in more than two dozen major films (including nine directed by Ford), as well as on TV and in print ads.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

Last Updated:

Views: 5480

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

Birthday: 1993-01-10

Address: Suite 391 6963 Ullrich Shore, Bellefort, WI 01350-7893

Phone: +6806610432415

Job: Dynamic Manufacturing Assistant

Hobby: amateur radio, Taekwondo, Wood carving, Parkour, Skateboarding, Running, Rafting

Introduction: My name is Pres. Lawanda Wiegand, I am a inquisitive, helpful, glamorous, cheerful, open, clever, innocent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.