Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Travel Blog

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View of Monument Valley from atop Hunt's Mesa
Up bright and early today, loaded up the vans, left Grand Junction, CO and headed towards Monument Valley. We drove through some very scenic areas (Castle Valley) along Route 128 in Utah and after a short stop in Moab, UT, headed towards the Arizona border. We stopped at Mexican Hat, along the San Juan River for lunch. As we crossed the bridge, we are now on the Navajo Reservation.

Driving along this area makes one think of being on an entirely different planet. The colors are very bold and around every bend in the road is another great view. Your imagination runs wild as you look at the rock formations around you.

We stopped near Goulding to meet our Navajo guides who will take us to Hunt's Mesa. Tom and his nephew John were very personable and extremely knowledgeable about the area.
John's house is within the shadows of some of the monuments.

The drive to Hunt's Mesa is one I will never forget. We transfered all of our gear into 2 4x4 Suburbans and headed out along the highway. We turned off onto a dirt road that was in bad need of grading (Are you reading this Bureau of Indian Affairs?). The ride was like driving on an old washboard!

Once we got off Washboard Alley, we started across desert land as we headed up towards Hunt's Mesa. A couple of times along this route, the vehicles became stuck in the sand, at which point we had to dig them out and also give them a push so we could continue. Many jokes about perishing in the desert were thrown about.

This ride up to the top of the mesa took about 3 hours and it was better than any roller coaster ride anywhere.
Juniper Tree silhouetted against the evening sky
I'm not an extremely adventurous person, so there were moments where my adrenaline was going into overdrive. As we reached the top, the trip was worth every moment. The views from atop the mesa were breathtaking.

We went to our campsite and dropped off our gear. Then we headed further along the mesa to scope out locations for photographing the sunset and sunrise. Back at the campsite, we erected our tents and other necessary facilities. A fire was built and the guides made a wonderful steak dinner.

I was too tall to sleep in one of the tents, so I opted to sleep out under the clear night in my sleeping bag. I stayed up talking withe Tom and John about their Indian culture until about midnight and then went to bed. Not to sleep, but just to bed. I stayed awake most of the night just staring up into the night sky. I have never seen so many stars. With no artificial lights around, the heavens are free to shine down upon Earth. I gave up on counting how many shooting stars I saw. I was able to pick out several well known constellations and even made up a few of my own.
acowboy says:
The Bureau of Indian Affairs... lol they rather waste money elsewhere... = (
Posted on: Jul 06, 2009
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View of Monument Valley from atop …
View of Monument Valley from atop…
Juniper Tree silhouetted against t…
Juniper Tree silhouetted against …
Rooster Rock
Rooster Rock
Getting stuck in the desert!
Getting stuck in the desert!
Me in the desert!
Me in the desert!
Chimney Rock
Chimney Rock
Joe Lange of Dramatic Light Nature…
Joe Lange of Dramatic Light Natur…
Unobstructed night view of the sky
Unobstructed night view of the sky