Looking for a fun getaway for these long, hot summer months? Fly with H5 Charter to Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah.
Monument Valley is perhaps the most famous example of the classic American West landscape, located within the Navajo Nation on the border of Arizona and Utah. The valley has been the backdrop for numerous western movies, ranging from the films of John Wayne to Back to the Future 3 and Forrest Gump.
Note that the entire Navajo Nation observes Mountain Daylight Savings Time from April through October, putting it one hour ahead of the time in other Arizona locations, or the same time as Utah.
Archaeological evidence indicates that the ancient Anasazi people inhabited the valley until AD 1300. Today over 100 sites and ruins have been found dating from these ancient people, including rock art. The Anasazi abandoned the area in the 1300’s, leaving it empty of humans until the arrival of the Navajo.
Flora and fauna
The valley has wide a assortment of vegetation including, Juniper trees, yucca, Russian thistle (Tumbleweed) and Navajo Tea to name just a few. Much of the vegetation is still used by the Navajos for medicinal purposes, and as dyes for their world famous hand-woven rugs.
Temperatures range from the upper 80’s to low 90’s in the summer. The winters are mild ranging from the upper 40’s to mid 50’s. Summer nights are cool and comfortable. Winter lows are generally in the mid to upper 20’s. The summers are dry except during the monsoon season — beware of flash flooding during this time. Winters see some snow, which brings out the spectacular colors of the valley.
Highway 163 is the only way to reach the park.
Monument Valley is a Navajo Tribal park (not a USA National Park) – National Park passes will not be accepted. For access to the loop road through the valley a fee of $20 per car has to be paid. This includes up to 4 passengers; each additional person is charged $10 extra.
Individuals wishing to hike in the valley or to visit sites not on the loop road must hire a Navajo guide for an additional fee.
While many incredible formations can be seen from the main roads, the best views can be had from the 17-mile loop road that runs through the valley. The road is open 6AM-8:30PM in the summer (May – Sep) and 8AM-4:30PM in the winter (Oct – Apr).
The loop is not paved and can be quite rough and dusty, but most vehicles should be able to manage. You are not permitted to deviate from the loop drive without a native guide present. The loop drive can be done in as little as 30-40 minutes, but most visitors will take several hours to enjoy the scenery. There is no shortage of native guides eager to take you (for a fee, of course!) to the restricted areas.