Monument

Valley

Monument Valley: one of the most scenic areas of the Navajo Nation with numerous monuments-buttes, fascinating rock formations, mesas, and canyons.

Accessible through 17 mile ride on dirt road by most vehicles.

Gallery: for the complete set of images, choose the Monument Valley gallery.

Where to stay: if you want to stay in the close proximity of the Monument Valley Park, accommodation is limited to Gouldings Lodge (privately own) and the new View Hotel (directly in the Park). Alternatively, one can stay 23 miles south in Kayenta or about 20 miles north in Mexican Hat, UT. To get to the Goulding’s Lodge, turn west at the intersection marked by the pin on the map below. After a one mile drive, turn left to the lodge office (phone: 435-727-3231). If you continue straight on the road, there is a gas station and grocery store. Goulding’s Lodge offers several tours into the Navajo Tribal Park, including restricted backcountry areas. I recommend staying in the Lodge; for those who find wi-fi useful when traveling (I know, I do), the signal coverage was acceptable.

Where to eat: the View Hotel & Restaurant (just next to Visitor Center, less then a mile from the fee entrance) is a great place to eat during the day. If you prefer chilli or a burger with a cold one (especially after a long day in the valley), you want to get to Mexican Hat (north on US163) where you can enjoy your evening at the Swingin Steak at Mexican Hat Lodge.

At the Swingin Steak in Mexican Hat, UT

At the Swingin Steak in Mexican Hat, UT

Taking pictures: fist of all, at what time. The park is open from 6am-8pm in summer (May – Sep) and from 8am-5pm in winter (Oct-Apr). While Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time (DST), Navajo Nation does. Thus from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November, set your clock one hour ahead (from the Arizona time). This is particularly important if you are planing to catch the sunrise. Sun will be rising just against you when watching the valley from the Visitor center or from the View Hotel & Restaurant.

Summer months: sunrise and sunset time (am | pm, MST adjusted to DST)

Month May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Beginning 6:30 | 8:10 6:05 | 8:35 6:00 | 8:40 6:30 | 8:30 6:50 | 7:50
Middle 6:15 | 8:20 6:00 | 8:40 6:15 | 8:40 6:40 | 8:15 7:00 | 7:30
End 6:05 | 8:35 6:00 | 8:40 6:25 | 8:30 6:50 | 7:50 7:15 | 7:05
Ave. Temperature (oF)
max | min
78 | 54 88 | 64 93 | 69 89 | 65 81 | 58
Ave. Precipitation (in) 0.41 0.09 0.53 0.86 0.76

Fall, Winter, Spring: sunrise and sunset time (am | pm, MST adjusted to DST)

Month Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr
Beginning 6:15 | 6:05 6:45 | 5:25 7:15 | 5:05 7:35 | 5:15 7:25 | 5:45 6:50 | 6:15 7:10 | 7:45
Middle 6:30 | 5:45 7:00 | 5:10 7:25 | 5:05 7:30 | 5:30 7:10 | 6:00 7:30 | 7:30 6:50 | 7:55
End 6:45 | 5:25 7:15 | 5:05 7:30 | 5:15 7:25 | 5:45 6:50 | 6:15 7:10 | 7:45 6:30 | 8:10
Ave. Temperature (oF)
max | min
68 | 46 52 | 34 40 | 26 40 | 25 47 | 29 58 | 36 67 | 42
Ave. Precipitation (in) 0.73 0.43 0.21 0.24 0.22 0.34 0.42

The temperature data suggest that the best time to visit this area is in April-May and October. March may be still a bit cooler, however sporadic patches of snow give a nice touch to the photos.

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