A Day Trip to Monument Valley

A Day Trip to Monument Valley

Nearly two hours from Lake Powell is a red-sand desert landscape known for its towering sandstone buttes. You may know it by the name of Monument Valley.

Here is your guide to a day trip in Monument Valley.


Monument Valley lies entirely within the Navajo Indian Reservation on the border of Utah and Arizona. What makes this flat landscape a major spot on the map is the majestic formations that rise hundreds of feet into the air. One of the most famous monuments is the Totem Pole; a spire of rock reaching 450 feet high but only a few meters wide.

Each monument formation is named after its look-alike; Elephant Butte, Camel Butte, The Thumb. Will you see it?

Drive through Monument Valley:

  • Valley Drive is a 17 mile dirt road which starts at the Visitors Center and heads southeast along the towering cliffs and mesas. The Valley Drive passes 11 numbered stops at the most scenic places and a typical journey around the loop takes at least 2 hours. Tourists are not allowed to hike away from the road closer towards any of the formations, but even so the trip is very enjoyable!

Click here to see the map of  the Valley Drive in Monument Valley and the main stops along the way.

Before heading out on the adventure be sure to check out the Visitors Center which includes a gift shop, cafe and of course, the restrooms!

Note for Scenic Drive: High-clearance vehicles are recommended to navigate the dirt, gravel and red rock road because of semi-rough surfaces and a steep incline.


– In the Know –

Fees: National Park passes will not be accepted. For access to the Valley Drive loop road through the valley a fee of $20 per car has to be paid (includes up to four people, additional will be charged).

Guided Tours vs. Self Guided Tours: Guided tours are offered though will cost extra. To book a guided tour in Monument Valley select a tour operator by clicking here.

There is much more to explore in Monument Valley, though if you only have a few hours this list is just what you need to enjoy your experience throughout the park.

xoxo ♥ AB

About the Author:

Andrea Blake is a southwest travel blogger based in Arizona. See her featured on Montem Outdoor Gear, Hotel Valley Ho and more. When she is not summiting a mountain or reaching her next destination, she is indulging in her favorite craft beer at the nearest brewery. You can visit her here or her Instagram at @southwestsampler.

Leave A Comment