Monument Valley (Navajo: Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgaii, meaning valley of the rocks) stretches across the state boundaries of northeast Arizona and southern Utah.
It is located on the border of southeastern Utah and northern Arizona, Monument Valley contains some of the most dramatic rock formations on the Colorado Plateau.
The valley’s earliest inhabitants include the Ice Age Paleo-Indian hunters (12,000-6,000 B.C.), Archaic hunter-gatherers (6,000 B.C.-A.D. 1), and Anasazi farmers (A.D. 1-1300).
In 1924 Harry Goulding established a post which is still in operation today, although under different management. During the 1950s Goulding encouraged the employment of Navajos in the uranium industry as well as in holding parts in the movie industry.
Monument Valley became known throughout the world when it was featured in such western film classics as John Ford’s Stagecoach, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and Cheyenne Autumn.
The Navajo Nation just remodeled visitor center at one of the country’s most noted tribal parks.
Monument Valley Tribal Park, the destination of more than 250,000 visitors per year.
Monument Valley to hosts a balloon festival in February free and open to the public.
“All the staff at Monument Valley, they are all Navajo,” Hongeva said. “All the tour guides are Navajo and all the vendors who sell food or jewelry, they are Navajo, and they are all individuals who live there locally.”
Tour guides take visitors through the park’s 17 miles of scenic roads, past some of the most acclaimed formations of the American Southwest.
A $14 million lodging, called The View Hotel, was constructed on the nearly 30,000-acre park, where several Navajo families still maintain grazing rights.
From Flagstaff, head east on Highway 40 to Highway 89 (Page, Grand Canyon Exit). Travel north on Highway 89 to Highway 160. Travel east on Highway 160 to Highway 163 (Kayenta exit). Travel north into Utah to Goulding’s Lodge then take Indian Route 40 southeast to the entrance to Monument Valley. The closest airport is Farmington, New Mexico. It is about two and a half hours east of the park.