Monument Valley: What a Day and What a View
February 29, 2016
February 29, 2016
Care to go to a place where John Wayne is plastered on hotel gift shop mugs, posters and fridge magnets? Well, look no further because that place exists in Monument Valley, and oh my, what a beautiful place it is.
Monument Valley is located on the Arizona-Utah state line. A few years ago, the husband and I passed it on our way to the Four Corners and it has been on my mind ever since. Only about five hours from us, finally, one day last month, I wondered just why in the hell we were waiting to see this beautiful country (because YOLO AMIRITE?) and frantically planned a short trip.
Now, with a baby in tow, we wanted to stay close and have the trip be easy AF. After getting some advice from friends on where to stay we finally settled on The View Hotel. As the lone hotel inside the tribal park, staying here is about as close as you can get to Monument Valley without actually curling up on a sandstone butte.
Basically a three-star hotel at five-star prices…and yet, it’s worth the cold hard cash. Every room has a patio or balcony and there is no such thing as a bad view. There are even little cabins or a campground if that suits your fancy. Waking up in the morning to see the sun rising over “The Mittens” was breathtaking. Seeing the fog roll in and watching a trio of coyotes gallivant across the valley while sipping a cup of joe is pretty damn fantastic.
We splurged and got a star gazing room, which made the evening especially fun since there’s nothing else to do at night. With a lone gift shop, a restaurant and a snack bar you’re basically on an island when you stay at The View — which isn’t a bad thing, you just have to make your own nightlife. OH AND ATTENTION THEY DO NOT SERVE ALCOHOL SO BYOB!!!
With regards on what to do during the day…hop in your ride and strap in. The 17-mile loop-tour throughout of the Park is what you’re here for.
You can either tour it in your own vehicle, or book a guided jeep tour with a Navajo guide. Having a baby, we opted to drive on our own, but I would have been curious to take the Navajo guided tour and learn more about the history of the valley. I managed to pull my own guide up on my phone using the spotty Wi-Fi, but am sure my skills as a tour guide were subpar.
We packed a lunch and settled in for the 2-3 hour drive. Since we went in January, there was snow, which I hadn’t expected but was grateful for. I mean, goddamn, what a unique opportunity to be seeing Monument Valley in the winter. Plus, another bonus, is that in winter the Park was relatively deserted. There were people, but there were no lines or traffic backups and our photos didn’t have any of those pesky tourists in the background.
An employee of the hotel told us that the lines to get into the park were pretty much a cluster in the summer, which had me smirking at our luck of pretty much having the park to ourselves. So people who hate society, take note to visit in the winter.
A day is really all you need to enjoy Monument Valley. There’s not much else around the area, and once you tour the valley and see the sights, your bucket list is checked and you can mosey on along to the next escapade.
Like Telluride, which is only four hours away.