Monument Valley (map) lies within the territory of the Navajo Nation Reservation and is accessible from U.S. Highway 163.
Monument Valley has been featured in many forms of media since the 1930s. Director John Ford used the location for a number of his best-known films and thus, in the words of critic Keith Phipps, “its five square miles have defined what decades of moviegoers think of when they imagine the American West.”
Visitors may pay an access fee and drive through the park on a 17-mile (27 km) dirt road (a 2-3 hour trip). Parts of Monument Valley, such as Mystery Valley (map) and Hunts Mesa (map), are accessible only by guided tour.
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The Navajo Nation and the State of Utah observe Mountain Daylight Saving Time from April through October, however Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time, so when you are in the State of Arizona and are not within the Navajo Nation, the time will be one hour earlier.
If you travel from Las Vegas or Phoenix, your trip will take almost the entire day. You cannot see Monument Valley and also go further than the Grand Canyon to the south, and Moab to the north in the same day. Even staying at the Monument Valley for one night is cutting your stay extremely short relative to what there is to see in this part of the Navajo Nation.
The best times to the visit the park are March, April, May, or October. But if you want to see the snow, go to the park in December or January.
Most of Monument Valley is part of Monument Valley Tribal Park, a Navajo tribal park, because Monument Valley is inside the Navajo nation. A tribal park is not the same as a United States National Park. National park passes will not be accepted. Except for a few trails, individuals wishing to hike in the valley or to visit sites not on the loop road must hire a Navajo guide for an additional fee.
Monument Valley Road (map) leads to the Monument Valley Tribal Park itself and the Monument Valley visitor center (map). Near Goulding’s Lodge (west of the Monument Valley Tribal Park), this road divides into two, one called Oljeto Road, and another called Rock Door Canyon Road. Rock Door Canyon Road goes past some Goulding’s lodges and a church before Rock Door Canyon Road becomes a dirt road.
U.S. Route 163 (map) is the main U.S. Highway that enters Monument Valley. Route 163’s southern end is in Kayenta, Arizona (Navajo Nation) and it goes north through Monument Valley to Mexican Hat and eventually intersects with U.S. Route 191. Route 191 connects U.S. Route 163 with Canyonlands National Park (map) and Arches National Park (map).
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