Monument Valley: Icons of the Wild West
The Monument Valley Hiking and Photography Workshop tour takes us into some of the most famous and fabulous scenery in the American Southwest. Monument Valley, home of towering buttes and wild totem pole-like spires, was made famous as the backdrop of John Ford’s 1938 hit Stagecoach. It has been a sought-after destination ever since, and our sunset/sunrise photography tour will give you the opportunity to experience Monument Valley’s wonder first-hand!
Check out The Goat’s Blog for tips, tricks, and information about hiking in Monument Valley
Monument Valley Hiking Information
Distance: There are very few defined hiking trails in Monument Valley. In addition, hikers and backcountry explorers are not permitted to be on tribal land without a Navajo Guide anywhere in the Tribal Park.
There is one excetion: the Wildcat Trail. The Wildcat Trail takes hikers around Merrick Butte and through The Mittens, the three most iconic and recognizable features in Monument Valley.
Most visitors to Monument Valley stay on the roads in their vehicles, which is what the tribe prefers.
Best Season to Hike: Year-round, summers can be very hot
Permits/Gear: Neither a permit or guide is required for the Wildcat Trail. For all other trails in the park, a permit and guide are required. Permits are required to do most anything in the park including hiking, fishing, camping outside of designated camping areas, and special events such as weddings. Permits are $20 at the Tribal Park Visitors Center
What’s the Deal?: Monument Valley is one of the most iconic places on the face of the Earth. It served as the background for countless “western” genre movies, graces postcards from around the world, and is simply put, synonomous with the American West.
The monuments are sculpted from the Cedar Mesa Sandstone (Early Permian sand dune sea) sitting atop the Elephant Canyon Formation, or Halgaito Shale (Late Pennsylvanian rivers and muddy, shallow seas).
During the last several million years, the area has been warped by deep-seated faults and tectonic movement into a structure called the Monument Valley Upwarp. It is a coeval uplift with the East Kaibab Monocline, the structure most responsible for the carving of Grand Canyon directly west of Monument Valley.
More Information: Call our office at 602-904-2536 for information regarding guides and hiking
How to Get There: From Flagstaff, drive north on HWY 89A across the Painted Desert. Take a right on HWY 160 to Tuba City. Remain on HWY 160 to Kayenta, then take a left at the light onto HWY 163. This road leads directly through the heart of Monument Valley.
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