Monument Valley | Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation (2024)


Before human existence, the Park was once a lowland basin. For hundreds of millions of years, materials that eroded from the early Rock Mountains deposited layer upon layer of sediment which cemented a slow and gentle uplift, generated by ceaseless pressure from below the surface, elevating these horizontal strata quite uniformly one to three miles above sea level. What was once a basin became a plateau.

Natural forces of wind and water that eroded the land spent the last 50 million years cutting into and peeling away at the surface of the plateau. The simple wearing down of altering layers of soft and hard rock slowly revealed the natural wonders of Monument Valley today.

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. Places such as Ear of the Wind and other landmarks can only be accessed via guided tours. During the summer months, the visitor center also features Haskenneini Restaurant, which specializes in both native Navajo and American cuisines, and a film/snack/souvenir shop. There are year-round restroom facilities. One mile before the center, numerous Navajo vendors sell arts, crafts, native food, and souvenirs at roadside stands.

Buy local, Buy Navajo!

Monument Valley | Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation (2024)


Does national park Pass work at Monument Valley? ›

WE do NOT Accept the National Park Pass.

Why is Monument Valley not a national park? ›

Contrary to what some might assume, Monument Valley is not a National Park, but rather a Tribal Park, as it lies within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation. The Tribal Park's designation is important in order to preserve its unique heritage and geological wonders.

Can you drive the 17-mile loop 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.

Which tour is best at Monument Valley? ›

Our most recommended things to do in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
  • Monument Valley: Sunset Tour with Navajo Guide. ...
  • Monument Valley: Backcountry Jeep Tour with Navajo Guide. ...
  • Monument Valley: Scenic 2.5-Hour Guided Tour. ...
  • Monument Valley: Highlights Tour with Backcountry Access.

Does national park Pass get you into Mount Rushmore? ›

These passes cover entrance fees but do not cover concession fees such as parking. Mount Rushmore National Memorial does not charge an entrance fee.

Can you drive through Monument Valley without a tour? ›

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.

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

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.

Can you tour Monument Valley on your 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 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.

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.

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.

Does national park Pass include national monuments? ›

National Recreation Passes

America the Beautiful Interagency Passes cover Standard Amenity Fees charged at any National Forest nationwide AND all entry fees charged at National Parks, Monuments and US Wildlife Refuges nationwide.

Do you have to pay 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.

Can you use your national park Pass for the Statue of Liberty? ›

Your National Park Pass does not cover the ferry.

While there are no entrance fees to Liberty Island, the concessionaire that operates the ferry charges a separate fee. Your national park pass will not cover the ferry fee or tickets to the pedestal or crown tours.

Can you see Monument Valley for free? ›

The Monument Valley entrance fee is $ 20 per car (up to 4 people) + $ 10 for each extra person. 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.

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