Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona/Utah

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One of my favorite stop, if not my number one stop on our trip from California to Colorado was Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park on the border of Arizona and Utah near the Four Corners area and a prominent feature on the Colorado Plateau, which includes numerous other fantastic sites.

The dramatic buttes and other rock formations jutting into the sky suddenly create a true ‘old west’ feeling in this part of the country.  Of course it doesn’t hurt that John Ford and other filmmakers took advantage of this landscape to shoot many iconic westerns.

After a windy drive in from Page, AZ, we pulled into Gouldning’s Campground and set up camp for the night. After a quick snack, we headed directly to the Tribal Park to catch the sunset.

We didn’t get to see much of it however because of the wind storm blowing through, but the eerie light created was spectacular in itself and set us up for fabulously clear skies full of fluffy cumulus clouds for the following day.

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Within the park itself, there are two options to view the park and its features-drive your own car or pay a substantial fee to be driven, both of which include a very rough circular road, which runs through the park.

This road is the only option for most people, as the tribe doesn’t allow hiking other than a few feet away from the road.  Not being able to hike is bit of a letdown, but completely understandable given the sacred nature of the site to the Navajo people on whos land the features are located.

Driving through the park, you have to be extremely careful, especially if your vehicle has a low clearance, as the potholes are big enough to swallow elephants.

We chose to drive ourselves and did so very slowly, stopping many times to get out and take photos and get a bit of a closer look at the magnificent, towering buttes among us.

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