BIG ROCKS & BIG SKIES
Welcome to the Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park. You will experience one of the most majestic, most photographed, most visited places on earth. This great valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that tower at heights of 400 to 1,000 feet, framed by scenic clouds casting shadows that graciously roam the desert floor. The angle of the sun accents these graceful formations, providing scenery that is simply spellbinding. The landscape overwhelms, not just by its beauty but also by its size. The fragile pinnacles of rock are surrounded by miles of mesas and buttes, shrubs and trees, and windblown sand, all comprising the magnificent colors of the valley. All of this harmoniously combines to make Monument Valley a truly wondrous experience.
Monument Valley provides perhaps the most enduring and definitive images of the American West. The isolated red mesas and buttes surrounded by empty, sandy desert have been filmed and photographed countless times over the years for movies, adverts and holiday brochures. Because of this, the area may seem quite familiar, even on a first visit, but it is soon evident that the natural colors really are as bright and deep as those in all the pictures. The valley is not a valley in the conventional sense, but rather a wide flat, sometimes desolate landscape, interrupted by the crumbling formations rising hundreds of feet into the air, the last remnants of the sandstone layers that once covered the entire region.
HISTORY & CULTURE:
The earliest people to mark the area were the Anasazi, or Ancestral Puebloans, who settled in around 1200 BCE. Their art and building structures remain, hinting at an ancient resourcefulness that found promise in a foreboding desert. The Navajo culture took root centuries before Spaniards entered the area in 1581, and 250,000 of their descendants still live on the 16-million-acre Navajo Nation. Monument Valley is a window into their culture. Explore their history, their way of life, their cuisine and their art. You can even take a little home in the form of handmade jewelry or a dyed wool rug.