Three years ago (is it really three years?!) I travelled across America starting in New York and finishing in LA. I did this through a company called Trek America who organise small group adventures across North America and I really could not recommend them enough, so if you’re thinking of doing something similar, check them out here! I had an amazing trek leader, Raine and an even better group of people who were also along for the ride and I will always cherish my Trek America memories! It’s hard to pick which place along the way was my favourite, but Monument Valley definitely makes it into the top 3 (alongside New Orleans, which I spoke about here)
Throughout the journey, Raine had been raving about Monument Valley and through my ignorance I thought that it was an art installation which was in a valley, really really blonde moment. However, throughout the journey I learnt more about the natural landscape which, in my opinion, should be one of the Wonders of the World.
On arrival we were introduced to our Navajo guide, who showed us around the vast national park which is absolutely breathtaking. The vivid red rocks have been the set of many a movie and you can almost imagine cowboys breaking in some of the wild horses which roam the plains.
Throughout our visit, we slid down sand dunes, spotted ancient rock paintings and made an amazing trip to the famous John Ford’s Point where it is obligatory to take cheesy tourist photos. As night was falling we made out way to a new location where we were treated to some traditional Navajo Tacos which tasted incredible and a dance by one of the tribesmen before we ourselves got up to do some of our own dancing around a camp fire! Our campsite for the night was under the stars, however, there was also a traditional Hogan on hand if you aren’t prepared to brave the thought of snakes.
An early morning is a must in Monument Valley to catch the colourful sunrise and watch the shadows dance around the rocks. After another tour around the expansive Valley we said goodbye to our wonderful tour guides and made our way towards our next destination, the Grand Canyon (you can read about that here)! However, there was one last photo opportunity and as a beyond huge fan of Forrest Gump, I wasn’t about to let this one slide!
Some tips for Monument Valley:
– Make sure you take a good camera – mine was slightly dying after my other travels and I wish I’d had more memory! Be prepared to take hundreds of photos!
– You can drive your own way around the national park but with a tour guide you have access to more areas and the benefit of a knowledgable guide!
– Drink plenty of water!
– Be prepared to take some cheesy photos!
– Take some good friends – I was lucky enough to be travelling with an amazing group of people from all around the world who were all up for a laugh. Indulging in some campfire dancing and star gazing is best done with good friends!
– Make sure you see sunrise and sunset! The Valley looks completely different throughout the day thanks to the ever changing angle of the sun so make sure you see them all!
– There is only one hotel inside the Valley, so it’s advisable to make reservations ahead of visiting! You can check out The View hotel here!
– There is a semi-market place set up on John Ford’s Point so make sure you have some dollars on you to purchase some of the jewellery which they’re offering!