"Monument Valley State Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Monument Valley State Park by Yaqui

Monument Valley State Park Travel Guide: 363 reviews and 1,139 photos


Elevation: 5,564' above sea level
Size: 91,696 acres

The valley's earliest inhabitants include the Ice Age Paleo-Indian hunters (12,000-6,000 B.C.), Archaic hunter-gatherers (6,000 B.C.-A.D. 1), and Anasazi farmers (A.D. 1-1300). The latter group's pottery styles reflect a regional variation known as Kayenta Anasazi. As early as the 1300s, San Juan Band Paiutes frequented the area as temporary hunters and gatherers. They named it "Valley or Treeless Area Amid the Rocks" and vested the landscape with supernatural qualities and mythological stories. For example, Totem Pole Rock is said to be a god held up by lightning, El Capitan a sky-supporter, and all of Monument Valley near Goulding's Trading Post a hogan that faces east.

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Spanish and Mexican incursion into the area was either exploratory or punitive (in their attempts to control Navajo raiders). In the early 1860s Kit Carson followed suit by sending Utes into the region to capture Navajos, who fled to peripheral areas such as Navajo Mountain. The majority of the Navajos returned from captivity in 1868 and soon confronted miners seeking silver. Ernest Mitchell and James Merrick, two of the most notable, were killed by Utes or Paiutes near monoliths that still bear the miners' names.

In 1884 President Chester Arthur added this region by executive order to the Navajo Reservation, but white men's interest in the area did not wane. Prospectors continued to search for silver, and in 1906 John Wetherill and Clyde Colville established a trading post at Oljeto that remained in operation for four years until Wetherill moved to Kayenta. In 1924 Harry Goulding established a post which is still in operation today, although under different management. During the 1950s Goulding encouraged the employment of Navajos in the uranium industry as well as in holding parts in the movie industry. The Navajo tribe has also established a tribal park that includes some of the most dramatic monoliths, making the area accessible to thousands of tourists who visit the region each year. http://www.onlineutah.com/monumentvalleyhistory.shtml

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:It is beautiful, historic, and sacred!
  • Cons:Too Many Stray Dogs....so be careful!
  • In a nutshell:A place of mystical and magical landscapes!
  • Last visit to Monument Valley State Park: Nov 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (49)

Comments (19)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Nov 13, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    What an amazing landscape! Looks like you had a nice drive around Monument Valley!

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    You did a wonderful job with this page!! The landscapes are so amazing. Your photos, especially when there is a hint of the sunset in it, are outstanding. Did you find it easier to photograph at any particular time of day here? A part of the country I still need to explore, this is wonderous!

  • Greggor58's Profile Photo
    Aug 28, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    WOW!!!!! Stunning photos of a really mystical destination Dee...THIS looks like my kind of place...I think I could spend days here..its certainly on my list if I can ever wiggle a way down to this area of the US!! Thanks!!

  • Mr.Sparkle's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    hey, great tip pix.

  • vichatherly's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    Excellent pages. We're heading here in June for a day. Will it be worth us getting a guided tour for half a day?

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    Nice Page. Amazing that last night we saw a documentary on Fox Cable TV. Included all your photos plus a clip or 2 from John Wayne westerns. Must put on my 2012 travy.

  • uglyscot's Profile Photo
    Nov 26, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    For someone with an interest in geology, this is a wonderful page. Thanks for sharing.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2009 at 8:41 AM

    Ahh, marvellous Monument Valley :-)) Fantastic description and photos, Dee :-) Makes me desperately want to come back to red rock country. I like the new hotel!

  • TheTravelSlut's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2009 at 7:31 AM

    Such great tips and incredible photos. :-)

  • Cristian_Uluru's Profile Photo
    Sep 23, 2009 at 6:07 AM

    Wonderful page! Amazing photos!!! I wish to visit the Monument Valley one day!


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