Monument Valley, Utah

  • The famous buttes - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • The most depressing cultural show ever.... - © William Mackesy

Key information: Monument Valley, Utah

  • Famously beautiful, majestic buttes, but overrated as an area, largely as a result of mass tourism.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating84
  • Beauty31
  • Natural interest15
  • Human interest10
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points4
  • Total rating84
  • Note: Negs: Crowds and the commercial.

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: Around 5,000 ft
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate

This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.

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© William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

Monument Valley is overrated, in Walkopedia' s humble opinion, and not worth diverting widely for in walking terms. It is an example of the poor outcomes for places which have been in a lot of films. Think tourist tat. The experience of entering the area leaves you a bit ill-disposed.

The landscape is very grand, and some of the views would have a compelling silent majesty, but there are too many cars buzzing. You can only get away from mass tourism  by... er... taking an organised jeep tour into the admittedly fine and interesting (but not exceptional) back areas.

Generally available walking is confined to a couple of trails round the admittedly iconic buttes near the visitor centre. These are at their best from a distance.

That said, the following has been received from a Walkopedia member who sadly didn’t leave their name:

“I chose Monument Valley for the serene silent beauty within nature and magnificent sandstone rock monoliths. I booked with Sacred Monument Tours at monumentvalley.net; an all day hike in the restricted backcountry areas and believe every human being should view this wonderful place as I would suggest. According to your grading criteria I believe all the essentials of beauty, natural interest, human interest, and charisma is concentrated at this location. I chose an all-day because of time restraints of work but am definitely coming back for a longer overnight stay into very remote areas with a Navajo guide from Sacred Monument tours that are knowledgeable of culture and nature. The altitude is 5,000 feet and is a 6 hour drive from Phoenix, Arizona. It was very economical for myself, my wife and our lovely dog.”

So, it is possible to get away on foot. The backcountry we saw was attractive and interesting enough, but not exceptional by world standards.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

© William Mackesy

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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© William Mackesy...
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