Monument Valley, Arizona

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This is Monument Valley, the Navajo (Native American) Tribal Park  located  on the Arizona/Utah border. The clusters of vast red sandstone buttes (large stone structures with flat tops) are near the famous 4 corners. ( This is where Arizona, Utah, New Mexico , Colorado  and the tribal nation of the Navajo meet.) MonumentvalleyMany car commercials have been shot in Monument Valley  during the years and the famous director, John Ford has shot many western movies staring John Wayne on this “set.” In fact, it has been said that movie goers  of the past have imagined the 5 square miles of Monument Valley as the totality of the American West.

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We have been to the park several times on our exploration of Arizona. The Navajos are not concerned with large fees as it is  five dollars per car for the  7 mile, self-guided ride through the park that takes about 2-3 hours to complete.( Compare this to $100 per person, per day at Disneyland!)  People would gladly pay  more to see the rock formations,  but capitalism is not a concern to the Navajos.

Our favorite place to stay is a new hotel built on the ridge overlooking the valley. It is designed , built, and owned by the Navajos and is the perfect location to view the sunset late in the day or the sunrise from  the large windows in each room, overlooking the buttes in the morning.  There are some  very pricey rooms complete with skylights for star gazing at night, but we didn’t stay in one of those. Make a reservation as there won’t be room at the end of the day on a whim.

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It looks like it has grown from the rocks in the late afternoon sun.

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Night falls in the valley.

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My architect calls this “sky blue-pink,” his favorite color, seen only at the beginning of the day.

There are a couple of sites accessible only with a Navajo guide.  On one visit, we went on a sunset tour in a well-worn Jeep.  We were able to  see some ancient glyphs or stone carved  story writing.( Hieroglyphs are particular glyps found only in Egypt.)   This is Kokopelli , the Native American  hunched-backed flute playing, fertility god.

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The highlight for us was standing under a natural stone dome, seeing, and listening to a Navajo playing a flute. Of course, it was all staged but it didn’t change the sight of  the shadows of  last light of the setting sun, and the ethereal notes colliding with the stone dome and filling  the canyon with the musical story of both peace and anguish.

images (3) Leaving the park for the day, you might catch a glimpse of a  lone cowboy and his horse enjoying the tranquility of Monument Valley before  riding off into sunset.

Wikipedia, Google Images, Public Domain

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
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38 Responses to Monument Valley, Arizona

  1. Thank you Anne, good info and images, MM 🍀

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  2. etinkerbell says:

    Great post and amazing pictures. Cheers. Stefy

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  3. wingedprisms says:

    I’m sold. Thank you. 🙂

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    • annetbell says:

      Not far from the heartland.. . . . . . go for it!

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      • wingedprisms says:

        on my list now!
        ;D

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      • annetbell says:

        I lived in AZ for 7 years as a visitor, not a native. I could tell you lots of unique places to visit, if ever you want. Top of the list is Canyon de Chelly, only a few miles from M V , also on the Navajo Nation. I will blog on it soon!

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      • wingedprisms says:

        Oh, good! Thank you. I have only traveled through AZ a few times. Our son went to the Navajo reservation (NM side) on a school trip several years ago and I think I remember his trip more than he does. Love Native Americans and the dessert! Look forward to your future posts.

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      • annetbell says:

        You should read about Navajo history. They were down to 300 when they were forced to march by the soldiers to a camp in NM. Now they are the largest tribe, 150,000+ in the country, their language is vibrant and most residents are totally bilingual. They have hospitals, businesses, their own social services, encourage and help kids to go to college. In fact, they have their own college. Amazing, courageous, hardworking people!

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      • wingedprisms says:

        Wonderful! I will. Thank you. 😀

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  4. Tanveer Rauf says:

    awesome amazing natural beauty. GOD is beauty

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  5. lauramacky says:

    We have always wanted to go there Anne. My hubby was just talking about this! Maybe after our move we will be able to plan some trips. I loved your photos!

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    • annetbell says:

      Ok, you and another blogger have encouraged me to post about the wonderful places in AZ! My favorite is near M V and on the Nation…..Canyon de Chelly. one our our favorite places ANYWHERE! I will definitely tell that tale. and soon! If not remind me. If you are serious about needing a list , I am most happy to give that to you and you and your husband can do some research and plan your trip.

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  6. Nadyess says:

    What are wonderful place and the pictures are beautiful! Thanks a lot for sharing and have a beautiful day!

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  7. LAMarcom says:

    Stunningly beautiful photos.

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  8. Reblogged this on AntiTerrorAthiest and commented:
    I ride my motorcycle down this road almost every day. I like to go 120 miles per hour here, because you can see all the way to the other side, and the road itself is usually in good repair. The only hazard are small animals that cross the road.

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  9. kyangel17 says:

    Have read a lot about this, and my brother brought back a thousand photos of it. These are beautiful Anne. I travel vicariously now, so thanks for the tour.

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    • annetbell says:

      Well so glad you liked the post. I lived and taught I AZ for. 7 years . We had lots of trips around the desert. Post was well received so I will do more! Stay tuned.

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      • kyangel17 says:

        I’ll be there with you. I have a beautiful Navaho vase he brought back for me. The colors are astounding. And he looked so surprised when I identified Window Rock, from reading Tony Hillerman books.

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  10. dmauldin53 says:

    Gorgeous! I will have to put this on my ‘bucket list’. 🙂

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