Envision a movie set from an old Western featuring John Wayne. Towering red rocks, miles and miles of desert, and a few cacti dotting the rugged landscape. Dirt so red and rocks shaped in such extreme forms they can only be fake.
You’ve just conjured up an image of real life Monument Valley, Utah. Although not a national park it easily warrants a stop on any Western U.S. road trip. This ethereal place sits on protected Navajo land on the border of Utah and Arizona.
The landscape is surreal, stunning, and a whole slew of other adjectives that won’t do it justice. Southern Utah is a geological anomaly and part of what makes the U.S. so mesmerizing to anyone who views it with open eyes.
Photos are far better than words in this case.
Know Before You Go:
- We stayed at The View Hotel within the ‘park’ but you could also stay across the highway at Goulding’s Lodge. There’s not much else in the immediate vicinity.
- The entrance fee was $20 for a car of 1-4 people at the time of our visit (August 2015).
- There’s not as many outdoor activities here as most national parks so you won’t need more than a day to view the scenery.
- A 17 mile round trip dirt road gets you up close and personal to the geological stars of the show. If you prefer not to take your own car you can sign up for one of several jeep tours listed here.