As you can see, it was very hazy yesterday when we arrived at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. We decided to stay in their “primitive campground”, a very rutted dirt parking lot for $10/night (on top of the $5/person entrance fee). Had it been clear, the views would have been great. Unfortunately the haze was due to strong winds blowing dust all over the valley and all over us!
There was a 3 mile trail leading from the campground to the Mittens, the two rock formations on the left that sort of look like mittens.
We finally ventured out of the rig last night and walked a couple miles of the trail. It wasn’t quite as windy since we descended into the valley at the start of the trail, but we ate a bunch of dirt when we got back to the top.
Many of you may recognize Monument Valley from director John Ford’s western films that were shot here, the first being Stagecoach with John Wayne in 1938.
Here are a few other photos. This was the best we could do given the dust.
A couple visitors to the campground.
More rocks. These are actually buttes.
The only way to see all of Monument Valley is on a tour given by the Navajos, or you can drive the 17 mile dirt road in your own vehicle. Our car was punished enough the other day going to the Wave, so we decided against the drive. The tours start at $68/person, and this is what they take them in. It would be a long ride with all the blowing dirt. Perhaps next time on a better day.
We got out of Dodge quickly this morning, since the wind had not let up. Wanted to spend the night at Goosenecks State Park, only 25 miles from Monument Valley, but it was another dirt parking lot with just as much wind, and it was threatening to rain, so we moved on to Sand Island BLM campground on the San Juan River near Bluff, UT. We are more protected here, and it is a pretty little campground with lots of trees, no hookups or dump but they do have water for $10/night. And we’re right across from the river.