We left Prescott, AZ and headed toward Monument Valley. After an overnight stop in Flagstaff we left Arizona and entered Utah. Even before we reached Monument Valley we began to see the majestic rock formations.
The campground for our two night stay was a pricey, dusty campground with no shade. The choice of campgrounds is very limited in the area so they can all charge high prices for very basic services. At least it was a full hookup campground and when we saw the beautiful view of the formations from our site, it definitely took away some of the pain from the high cost.
The last time we were here was in the fall of 2015 and we just drove up for the day.
Monument Valley is located on Navajo land and is part of the Navajo Tribal Park which was established in 1958 to preserve the environment. Monument Valley sits at 5,564 feet above sea level and its 91,696 acres is located in both Arizona and Utah. The monuments or rock formations are natural structures created by erosion and range from 100 to 1,500 feet tall. There was a $20 fee per car to enter the park and make the seventeen mile loop drive. The road is made of soft sand and dirt with deep ruts making it almost necessary to have a four wheel drive vehicle.
It was fun as we drove around to see the names of the various formations, some reasons for the names more obvious than others. More popular formations are the mittens and the three sisters. The three sisters are supposed to be three nuns, with one nun being the teacher talking to her two pupils.
We stopped by a couple visitors centers. One center had a nice display on the western movies directed by John Ford, many starring John Wayne.
The other center had an excellent display featuring the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II. The Navajo Code Talkers provided accurate, fast, sophisticated and secure means of communication during WWII. There were nearly 400 Navajo Code Talkers spanning six Marine divisions. They spoke in a code derived from their native language which baffled the Japanese and greatly helped win WWII in the Pacific.
Another popular place is located on the road leading away from Monument Valley. It is the setting of a scene from the movie “Forrest Gump” when Forrest was running through Monument Valley. There were many people who had stopped their cars on the side of the road so they could stand in the middle of the road and reenact the scene from the movie. Some stood in the road with cars and trucks approaching waiting until the last minute to get out of the way! I was glad Bill wisely chose to stand on the side of the road!
It was very hot in Monument Valley and we are headed next to Colorado and hopefully cooler temperatures!
beautiful photos! America is truly a beautiful country!