The World As Bec Sees It

The World As Bec Sees It

5 Pretty Awesome Rock Formations in Monument Valley

During my three-week tour across the USA, one of our stops was Monument Valley. I knew very little about the area before visiting, but I soon discovered one of the most beautiful tribal parks with some of the most astounding sandstone rock formations I had ever seen.

About Monument Valley

Monument Valley is located on the Arizona-Utah state line in the United States. It is part of the Colorado Plateau and lies within the Navajo Indian Nation Reservation and Four Corners Movement. The valley is renowned for its unique sandstone rock formations, which are vividly red due to the iron oxide in the weathered siltstone.

How Do I Get to Monument Valley?

Monument Valley is accessible by US Highway 163. Visitors can enter by paying a small fee and driving through the park on a 17-mile (27km) dirt road, which takes about 2-3 hours. Parts of the valley, such as Mystery Valley and Hunts Mesa, are accessible only by guided tour.

On my 21-day “Coast to Coast” tour with Topdeck Travel, we enjoyed a guided tour around Monument Valley. Our guide even provided bandanas to shield us from the dust. The highlight of our tour was undoubtedly the incredible rock formations.

5 Pretty Awesome Rock Formations in Monument Valley

1. The Mittens

These formations are named because they resemble two mittens, one for the left hand and one for the right. Their distinctive shape makes them a must-see landmark in the valley.

2. The Hand

This formation looks like a hand reaching out of the ground. I like to think of it as the Hand of Midas, adding a touch of mythology to its grandeur.

3. The Dragon

In this formation, the rock appears to form the shape of a dragon. I even have a photo of me “kissing” the dragon, where the rock’s head meets mine, and its body stretches out behind.

4. The Sun’s Eye

The Sun’s Eye is a beautiful formation with a hole that resembles an eye. To capture the iconic photo, I had to climb a large rock in front of it, which was quite the adventure.

5. The Three Sisters

These three rock spires are another famous formation. Unlike the Three Sisters in Australia’s Blue Mountains, these are a unique feature of Monument Valley.

Monument Valley in Popular Culture

Monument Valley has been featured in numerous blockbuster films:

  • Stagecoach (1939): Directed by John Ford.
  • National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983): Featuring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo.
  • Back to the Future Part III (1990): Starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.
  • Thelma and Louise (1991): With Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon.
  • Forrest Gump (1994): Starring Tom Hanks and Sally Field. Forrest ends his cross-country run here.
  • Mission: Impossible II (2000): Featuring Tom Cruise.
  • Cars (2006): Monument Valley is featured as “Ornament Valley.”
  • The Lone Ranger (2013): Featuring Johnny Depp.
  • A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014): Starring Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, and Neil Patrick Harris.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014): Starring Mark Wahlberg.

Share Your Thoughts

  1. Have you ever been to Monument Valley? Share your photos of unique rock formations in the comments!
  2. Like this post if you think your next trip to the USA will include Monument Valley.
  3. Share this post with a friend who might be interested in visiting Monument Valley, Utah.

Happy exploring!

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