Two words: Monument Valley. One emotion: Awe.
Monument Valley was by far the one national park that we were both looking forward to the most, and it did not disappoint. We arrived in the national park around mid day, after spending the morning exploring Page and all of its beauties.
As soon as we saw those famous and magical shapes in the distance we hopped out of the car excited that we’d made it, oh and we wanted to celebrating driving into Utah, if only for about 20 minutes.
Once we arrived at the entrance of the park we thought we’d stop for some self pack lunch in the form of bread, tuna, salad and peanut butter for desert. But first we needed to find the ideal spot to sit and enjoy lunch, the edge of the car park looked pretty good to us!
We couldn’t believe this place, and we were just completely blown away. It looked exactly like I’d always pictured it to be: grand, so grand that it engulfed your sense of grandness. You felt like you were transported back into the big bad old days of the American wild wild west, as if you should be wearing more fringe and holstering a pistol.
Monument Valley sits in the Navajo Nation Reserve which is owned and looked after by the Navajo people. Because of this much of the reserve is considered sacred so you can’t just roam around on your own (so actually no wild wild west activities… ), so the best way to see it is to drive around the dedicated (and very well-marked and mapped) loop. The drive takes around a minimum of two hours (just to loop around the park!) so if you really wanted to enjoy it you should set a lot more time aside, and it would be worth it!
The structures are called ‘buttes” (yes, this is the scientific term for it) and are made out of stratified sand stone formed after millions of years of erosion and uplift.
We were also hoping to do a sunrise or sunset walking tour, but unfortunately missed out due to our time constraints. Nevertheless, we took in enough views of this magnificent place to have panoramic memories for a life time.
Before the day was over we’d seen the all the major stops on the drive and really didn’t want to leave. We could have easily spent another day just exploring the national park, day and night. It became difficult for us not to take any incredible photos! After a very long and eventful day seeing the sights and attractions of Arizona we sadly said goodbye and headed back south to the highway to continue our journey on Route 66 towards to the east.