We drove 140 beauty-filled miles from Moab down to the final destination of our amazing Utah road trip.
Arriving at Monument Valley feels like you’re walking into a motion picture studio. This scenic valley straddles the Utah/Arizona border and is one of the most photographed and famous points on earth.
Frankly? I almost expected to see Forrest Gump running on U.S. Highway 163!
Since we only had two days to experience these towering masterpieces, we hardly spent time at the Monument Valley KOA where we had reservations.
Luckily this RV park sits just outside the entrance to the Navajo Nation’s Park, so we didn’t waste time driving long distances to see the sites.
yellow hair and apache
In order to hike through Monument Valley, the Navajo tribe requires you to purchase permits, so hiking was off the table for us. Instead, we decided to experience the beauty by horseback led by a Navajo guide.
Russ, our guide, was 30-years-old and had just recently moved to Monument Valley from the Navajo Nation near Gallup, New Mexico. He explained that his grandparents had lived in The Valley all their lives and he was excited to return to his family roots.
It was a privilege to spend exclusive time with Russ and experience the Monument on horseback. John rode on Apache and I was riding Yellow Hair.
As we rode along we learned that homes in The Valley, called Hogans, had no running water or electricity. The Navajo refer to this area of land as Tse’ Bii Ndzisgaii or “Clearing Among the Rock” and consider this 19,696-acre area as a giant Hogan or dwelling. The two buttes called the Mittens are regarded as hands of a deity or god.
When we finished our time with Russ and patted our horse’s goodbye we continued driving the 17-mile dirt road loop and enjoyed each scenic pullout along the way.
That’s how we ended our National Park tour.
Just 30 days earlier I had entered Utah like a schoolgirl experiencing her first kiss. Now that it was time to leave I realized Utah surprised me in more ways than I can imagine. I leave captivated by memories of beauty and look forward to a second date!
Read about our time in Zion
Read about our time in Bryce and Kodachrome State Park
Read about our time in Capitol Reef
Read about our time in Arches and Canyonlands
Read about our time in Monument Valley