Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, one of the world's best scenic drives, is the ultimate icon of the American Southwest. Popular as a backdrop scene for films and magazines ads, Monument Valley has become the classic subliminal image for creating powerful reactions.
One of the most photographed scenic landscapes in the United States, this widespread sandy preserve spans the border between Arizona and Utah. With red hues of mesas and sandstone towers that rise as high as 1,000 feet.
The Monument Valley scenic drive can be enjoyed from Highway 163. However, for the true scenic experience and to immerse yourself in the true beauty, turn off the highway into the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and take the 17 mile scenic drive, of which 13 miles is a one-way loop. Depending on your desire to stop, or photograph the sites, the drive time for the full trip can be from 2 to 4 hours.
Monument Valley park area covers several thousand square miles and features towering or monument like red sandstone pinnacles that are up to 1000 feet high.
You may see many of the views of the same formations at different angles and sun directions, especially with the narrower buttes that look dramatically different from one side compared to the other. Monument Valley is one of the most awe-inspiring, vast landscapes in the Southwest, which makes this up close scenic drive that much more impressive.
If possible, visit Monument Valley during off peak times as the traffic can be high, especially with bumper to bumper paces near the landmark buttes of West Mitten, East Mitten and Merrick.
Early morning is the best time to visit as the traffic is lighter and the light is better for photography.
Park hours are 6 am - 8.30 pm from May to September, and 8 am - 4.30 pm from October to - April.