Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park (2024)

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Monument Valley | Rosie Serago

  • Weather: Mostly Clear, 57F
Monument Valley, an iconic symbol of the American West and the sacred heart of the Navajo Nation, is the ideal setting for your next adventure in the warm, high desert climate of southeastern Utah. Visitors may explore the 17-mile scenic drive in private vehicles or book a jeep tour to explore the area's backroads and sacred lands with the help of a local guide.

The valley is host to towering sandstone rock formations that have been sculpted over time and soar 400 to 1,000 feet above the valley floor. Combined with the surrounding mesas, buttes and desert environment, it truly is one of the natural wonders of the world. Stay the night and step out after dark to appreciate the timelessness and wonder of the Milky Way. Stopping to appreciate the rhythms of this ancient, sacred land has the ability to change your perspective if you take the time to let it.

Winter in Monument Valley How to Visit Tribal Lands

Monument Valley Fees, Permits & Hours

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is located on the Navajo Nation Reservation, along the state line of southeast Utah and northeast Arizona. The park is a three hour drive from Moab, a little under one hour from Bluff and about 5 hours from Phoenix. Check ahead for current conditions and entrance fees.

  • 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.
  • Closed during all major holidays in accordance with the Navajo Nation: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
  • Permits are required for backcountry hiking, camping, filming and various special uses such as weddings. Visit the park’s website for more information oncurrent fees and permits.
  • GPS coordinates of park visitor center: 37.002449, -110.172615

Visitor Center

Monument Valley Weather

Visitors come to Monument Valley year-round, but most come during spring and autumn to best enjoy the high-desert environment. The onset of searing summer heat usually begins in late May, and it can persist into mid-September. Autumn provides some of the most stable weather of the year. Temperatures may reach mid-90s F in July and August. Clear, warm, sunny days and cool nights make this one of the most delightful seasons to visit.

Winter in Monument Valley can be cold and windy, although there will be some nice days. Average highs in the winter are in the 40s, so you'll want to pack layers and water when you venture out to enjoy serene, sometimes snow-dusted, panoramas.

Utah Weather

See Also
Canyon Page
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park (2)

Where to Stay

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. Accommodations are also available in Kayenta, Arizona, south on U.S. 163. Goosenecks State Park (near Mexican Hat) also has a campground.

Gouldings Lodge is another nearby option and the most convenient place to eat inside the park. This lodge is tucked under soaring rimrock cliffs two miles west of the Monument Valley turnoff from U.S. 163 in Utah. Gouldings also has a nice campground that offers RV hookups, a pool and separate cabins. Explore their guided tour opportunities as well.

The View Hotel is the only lodging inside Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Reservations well in advance are a good idea if you want to enjoy the amazing views of Monument Valley from this modern hotel.

Things to do in Monument Valley

  • Guided Jeep Tours Butte after butte and mesas upon mesas are calling your name. Guided jeep tours of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park are a great way to take in the iconic landscape. It is just as much fun for kids as adults, and a great morning or afternoon activity for families.
  • Hiking the Wildcat Trail The Wildcat Trail is a 3.2-mile loop hike (4 miles total, including the return to the trailhead and parking area) into one of the most scenic areas that Monument Valley has to offer. This trail lets hikers feel like they stepped back in time into the Wild West.
  • Mexican Hat Mexican Hat, one of Utah’s strangest rock formations, balances a flattened pancake disk atop a 300-foot-high talus cone. It’s a novel route and quick summit for expert desert rock climbers.
  • Monument Valley Area Scenic Drives A scenic drive around Monument Valley is one of the area’s most popular activities, and for good reason. High-clearance vehicles are recommended to navigate the dirt, gravel and red rock road.

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  • You are a guest on the reservation and tribal park land, and allowed on site with the permission of the tribe. Act accordingly. Learn more about Native Nations in Utah.
  • Avoid taking pictures of people or events unless you have permission. Remember, this is where people live and work. (Watch: Voices of Bears Ears — The Navajo).
  • Act respectfully at all times, but particularly at important sites and burial grounds.
  • Don’t remove pottery or other artifacts you may find — this is a violation of federal law. (Read: How to Visit Rock Imagery Sites)

Read the Stories

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  • Swingin' Steak Outdoorsy types who find themselves in the breathtaking landscapes of southeastern Utah will find a satisfying meal in the down-home and delightfully quirky Swingin’ Steak restaurant, part of the equally unique Mexican Hat Lodge.
  • The Story of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Written By Visit Utah Ancient erosion and modern cinema joined forces to elevate Monument Valley to one of the world's most iconic places to visit — but it's also the sacred home of the Navajo people. Learn more about the history, size and scenes that define the Monument Valley Utah experience.
  • The Voices of Bears Ears Written By Visit Utah 10 minute read Bears Ears National Monument is at the heart of southeastern Utah. These lands are imbued with layers of culture — layers of life. In this four-part video series, meet the locals who connect with the land in their own distinct ways.
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Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park (2024)


How many Navajos live in Monument Valley? ›

Other parts of Monument Valley were added to the Navajo Reservation in 1884 and 1933. An estimated 100 Navajo people live in the valley today. In 1958, the Navajo Tribal Council established the tribal park making the area accessible to tourists. The park was designated in 1960.

What Indian tribe owns Monument Valley? ›

Set aside by the Navajo Tribal Council in 1958, the park covers almost 92,000 acres in northern Arizona and southern Utah and lies within the Navajo Nation reservation.

Is Monument Valley National Park worth visiting? ›

Well, this 92,000-acre region is a particularly beautiful area of red-sand desert. The valley sits on the border between Utah and Arizona, with land in both states. It is most known as Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which has a beautiful collection of sandstone buttes that attracted Hollywood's attention.

How long does it take to complete Monument Valley? ›

The Bottom Line

The scenic drive through Monument Valley lasts 2–4 hours. With its awe-inspiring rock formations, rich Native American heritage, and cinematic views, this journey promises visitors an unforgettable experience.

How many full blooded Navajos are there? ›

With more than 399,494 enrolled tribal members as of 2021, the Navajo Nation is the largest federally recognized tribe in the United States; additionally, the Navajo Nation has the largest reservation in the country.

How many Navajo live in poverty? ›

Within the Navajo Nation, 35.8% of households have incomes below the federal poverty threshold. ... In 2018, 29.9% of the Native population reported having a poor or fair health status, compared to 16.3% of the White population, 21.2% of the Black population and 25.8% of the Latino population.

Can anyone go to Navajo Nation? ›

While visitors are not permitted to enter the Navajo Reservation itself, there are plenty of Navajo Nation activities and tours in the nearby area.

Is Monument Valley sacred to the Navajo? ›

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.

What is so special about Monument Valley? ›

What Makes Monument Valley so Special? Monument Valley, known as Tse'Bii'Ndzisgaii in the Navajo language, is a 91,000-acre tribal park that straddles the border of Arizona and Utah and is known as a place where natural wonders meet a rich cultural legacy.

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.

How many days should you spend in Monument Valley? ›

Monument Valley is an iconic Navajo Tribal Park located on the Utah-Arizona border. It is a stop that many people miss on their Utah road trip adventures, but I highly recommend spending one full day there (you don't need any longer) to experience its beauty.

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 to drive Tribal Park Loop Monument Valley? ›

A self-guided Monument Valley tour on the scenic drive should take between two and four hours, depending on how long you spend at each overlook.

Can you drive through Monument Valley on your own? ›

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!

Is Monument Valley 2 better than 1? ›

Monument Valley 2 is subtly more sophisticated than its predecessor. "If you go back and play the first Monument Valley, it feels sort of retro," Gray says. Small things—like a sleeker, sans serif typeface and generative audio that changes when you activate certain mechanics—make the update feel modern.

Where did the Navajo mostly live? ›

The earliest known home of the Navajos was in the area between the Jemez and Lukachukai mountains, in what today is Northwestern New Mexico, but subsequently the people expanded westward and northward into portions of present-day Arizona and Utah.

Where are the Navajo 4 Sacred Mountains? ›

Geographical location

Taylor (yellow in the south), Doko'oosłííd or the San Francisco Peaks (black in the west), and Dibéntsaa or Hesperus Peak (white in the north). These mountains are located in south-central Colorado; Grants, New Mexico; Flagstaff, Arizona; and La Plata Mountains, Colorado in relation to the U.S.

Do the Navajo live in the Grand Canyon? ›

The two most prevalent tribes that reside on reservations at the Grand Canyon today are the Havasupai and the Hualapai. The canyon is also described as the place of emergence for the Navajo, Hopi, Paiute and Zuni.

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