Monument Valley, USA

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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  • Brief introduction to Monument Valley
  • When to visit Monument Valley: the climate
  • Time zone and daylight saving time
  • How to visit the park
  • What to see in Monument Valley
  • Tours to visit Monument Valley
  • How to reach Monument Valley
  • Where to sleep in Monument Valley
In this article we will talk:
- Introduction
- When to visit Monument Valley
- Time zone
- How to visit
- What see
- The best tours
- How to get
- Where to sleep

Brief introduction to Monument Valley

One of the most fascinating and evocative places in the world, where cities will seem like memories of a distant civilization and you will be completely immersed in a natural and evocative landscape, is the Monument Valley, located in the southern end of the state of Utah and not far from Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.

Known for its large pink rock peaks, its charm has attracted photographers and filmmakers from all over the world and has often become the ideal setting for some western films and it is no coincidence that one of the must-see points in Monument Valley is the great director John Ford.

The area enjoys a torrid climate all year round, for this reason it is recommended to visit it in the cooler hours. It is part of the Navajo Nation Reservation, managed entirely by the Indians, with entrance fee. Here you can choose whether to take a tour with your car, rent a jeep or a guide, or take part in a horseback excursion.

The landscape will amaze you with its beauty and play of shadows, the rock pinnacles, which reach up to 300 meters in height, are surrounded by plateaus, shrubs and sand blown by the desert wind. You can also visit the Navajo stalls and buy handicrafts. Their craft is based on the processing of silver jewelry, stones, carpets and sand painting according to particular techniques.

This people still lives following the ancient traditions. It is therefore better to remember that you have to respect their rules. The nearest town is Her clothes, which is located immediately south of Monument Valley, Arizona.

Monument Valley is one of the many natural parks in America; along with places like Death Valley and Las Vegas this park is one of the most popular destinations.

Unlike other reserves Monument Valley is not managed by the National Park Service but from the Navajo Nation Park & ​​Recreation, which represents the Navajo State and deals with the territories of this tribe. Members of the Navajo people not only look after the park, but still live there today.

When to visit Monument Valley: the climate

The park is open to visitors all year round, but in my opinion the ideal periods to visit are in spring and autumn, as in summer the temperatures are very high, even if the dry climate is very bearable, while the winters they are particularly rigid.

Despite being a desert area, Monument Valley is subject to heavy rains, which hit it especially in summer, and to snow in winter. Like all desert areas it undergoes severe temperature changes.

It is important to take into account the climate because it greatly affects the visit experience: in summer you need to shelter from the sun and stay hydrated, while in winter it is advisable to cover yourself well. In case of rain, some paths flood and become impassable.

Average temperatures of Monument Valley
Average temperatures of Monument Valley
Max ° C Min ° C Precip. medie (mm)
January -4 ° 13
February -3 ° 14
March 12° 15
April 18° 11
May 23° 14
June 29° 14° 4
July 31° 17° 21
August 31° 17° 23
September 28° 14° 17
October 19° 22
November 10° -1 ° 16
December -4 ° 12

Time zone and daylight saving time

In addition to the climate, those who want to visit Monument Valley it must also take into account the time zone and opening hours. The park is part of the Navajo state so this territory adopts daylight saving time and in the months in which it is in force it is one hour ahead of Arizona (Utah instead adopts daylight saving time so it coincides with that of the park).

As for the opening, the opening times of the park are as follows:
- high season (from May 1st to September 30th) from 06:00 to 20:XNUMX every day of the week;
- low season (from October 1st to April 30th) from 08:00 to 17:XNUMX every day of the week;
- on Thanksgiving from 8 to 17;
- Christmas and New Year closed.
The Scenic Drive has the following times:
- high season from 06:00 to 20:XNUMX;
- low season from 08:00 to 16:30.

How to visit the park

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park offers multiple opportunities to those who want to visit it. You can decide to opt for the do-it-yourself or rely on a guided tour.

Entrance to the park costs $ 20. If you decide to enter by car, you always pay $ 20 for a vehicle with four occupants. If you exceed this number, you will pay $ 6 per person. The National Park Card and Golden Eagle Passes are not accepted.

For those who want to visit the park with their own car the obligatory path is the Scenic Drive, a 17 mile long route. Those who undertake it are given a map with all the necessary information. The cost is $ 20 for admission, as mentioned above.

What to see in Monument Valley

The Scenic Drive allows you to see the main points of interest in the park. Each Mesa and Butte found in Monument Valley has a name. Following this path it is possible to observe: East and West Mitten Buttes, Merrick Butte and Mitchell Mesa, Elephant Butte, Three Sisters, Camel Butte, The Hub, Rain God Mesa, Bird Spring, Totem Pole, The Ye Bi Chei, Artist's Point, Spearhead Mesa, North Window and The Thumb.

For fans of camping and hiking, there are numerous paths and places where it is possible to camp.

The best known and most popular hiking tour is the Wildcat Trail.

On the park's website there is a form indicating hiking and camping routes. The visitor must indicate the point that interests him and the number of people. The cost ranges from $ 5 to $ 15 for camping (per night, per person, depending on the area) and is $ 5 for excursions (per day, per person). If you decide to do both hiking and camping, the figures must be added up.

Tours to visit Monument Valley

An alternative to DIY is to rely on organized tours. There are truly something for all tastes and budgets. You can decide to visit Monument Valley on foot, by jeep or on horseback. You can rely on an organized tour that departs from Goulding's Lodge or even from Las Vegas and the nearby cities of Flagstaff and Sedona.

For jeep tours, prices range from $ 70/80 for shorter trips up to $ 100/200 for half-day and full-day tours.

As for the walking tours, the rates range from $ 60/70 for 1/2 hour or hour excursions up to $ 100/200 for half day or full day. Rates are usually halved for children aged 6 to 12. Some operators offer the option to practice custom routes ($ 35 per person).

Horseback riding operators have rates ranging from $ 58/60 for half an hour to $ 195/200 for the full day.

Both for excursions on foot and for those on horseback, special visits are offered such as the one to see the sunrise or sunset or the overnight stay outside and still guided tours to the Mystery Valley. The Mystery Valley is located not far from the Mesas and the Butte and is the territory of a mysteriously disappeared Indian population: the Anasazi. In addition to the ruins of this ancient people, the area is known for its arch-shaped rock formations, caves and canyons of modest size.

How to reach Monument Valley

To reach Monument Valley you can take the plane to Phoenix or Las Vegas (which is not far from Death Valley), and then you need to have a car. The best way to get there is the famous Highway 163.

Where to sleep in Monument Valley

As for hotels, within Monument Valley there are two: Goulding's Lodge which has traditional rooms and is located in the heart of the park, and Monument Valley View, which accommodates visitors in charming cabins.

To find a hotel outside the park it is necessary to reach the towns of Kayenta or Mexican Hat, which are about 35 km from the park, or that of Bluff, which is 50 km away.

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