Monument Valley is a Navajo reservation which is located on the Arizona-Utah state line. The Navajo people call it "Tse Bii'Ndzisgaii" which means the valley within the rock. This majestic scenery has inspired lots of people and still does even today. These beautiful natural scenic views have been featured in many western movies with John Wayne who called this place "Gods Treasure". When I was a little boy I always wanted to see this place so I was lucky enough to fulfill my dream on several ocassions. I am so captivated by it that I keep coming back for more.
Highway 163 is the only way to reach the park and the nearest town is Kayenta about 32 km to the south. This is where we recommend stocking up on supplies, although there is also one small market and other opportunities to buy food and petrol in Monument Valley.
Because Monument Valley is a Navajo Tribal park, your National park passes are not accepted here. To access the loop road through the valley you have to pay a fee of $5 per person per day. If you want to hike in the valley or to visit sites not on the loop road you must hire a Navajo guide for an additional fee.
The loop is a 27km unpaved dirt road that goes around the main attraction points in the valley. It starts and finishes at the Visitor Centre parking lot. There is a gate which officially opens at 6am and closes at 8pm during peak season (May - Sept). During the off peak season the hours are from 8am till 5pm (Oct - Apr). Ideally you should have a 4WD as the road has many deep potholes, especially at the beginning of the loop. It gets slightly better as you drive further through valley. The road starts as a two lane road and then becomes a one way loop. Allow approximately 2 hours to complete the loop, longer if you plan on taking lots of photos.
There are not many opportunities for accommodation in this area. You can choose from either The View Hotel which is situated directly in the Navajo Tribe Monument Valley Park or the Goulding's Lodge which is only a few kilometres up the road. Goulding's also has a campground with a swimming pool, laundry, small shop, free showers and wi-fi. The view from our tent site was amazing.