Exploring towering desert landscapes from the Utah side
Monument Valley, which straddles the border of Utah with Arizona, is located 25 miles southwest of Mexican Hat, Utah, on U.S. 163. This northern approach leads through one of the most familiar scenes: a long stretch of highway running through the deep red desert toward the towering mesas of Monument Pass on the horizon. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is located here, as is historic Gouldings Trading Post and Museum.
Bluff is an excellent base camp for exploring Monument Valley, with several lodging and dining options. Nearby Mexican Hat also offers a couple of eateries, as well as its namesake rock formation. A bit further north along U.S. Highway 191, Blanding and Monticello also offer dining and lodging while still offering convenient access to Monument Valley.
Monument Valley and Oljato are surrounded by unique sandstone formations, which are among the most iconic images of the Southwest.
Gouldings Lodge was home to John Ford and John Wayne during the filming of many classic western films such as Stagecoach and The Searchers. Ford loved the valley's terrain. The scenery of Monument Valley is captivating year round. Sandstone formations with fanciful names like Mittens, Elephant Butte, Totem Pole and North Window reveal their greatest beauty at sunrise and sunset, and can easily be viewed from the native surface road through the Tribal Park.
At Gouldings Lodge, sign up for a tour of Monument Valley at the campground office and have an experienced Navajo guide take you through one of the most beautiful and sacred areas on planet earth. Be sure to visit LaFont Arch just a short hike from the campground.
Once you've set up camp, nightly shuttles will take you to Stagecoach Dining Room, Yellow Ribbon Gift Shop, Goulding's Grocery Store or nightly showings at Earth Spirit Theater.
The tribal park has a visitor center, restaurant and campground. The visitor center offers Navajo-guided tours, which include a visit to a hogan, the traditional Navajo dwelling.
For More Information:
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
Utah Travel Council