Can You Drive Through Monument Valley?

Last Update on November 14, 2022 by Maxtour
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Hollywood’s favorite background setting, Monument Valley, is one of the most iconic destinations in the American Southwest. If you’re planning a trip near the region, a self-guided drive through Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park will bring you the best of nature’s wonderland–from gorgeous red rock creations to towering spires and buttes. 

And if you’re wondering whether you can drive through Monument Valley, the answer is yes, and it’s easy to do! Below, we’ve summarized all you need to know to make your Monument Valley drive the best it can be. 

How to Drive Through Monument Valley

One of the ways to enjoy Monument Valley is by general admission. This allows you to enter the park for $20 per vehicle (with up to four people in each car) and drive the seventeen-mile scenic loop road up to the valley overlook, but not beyond. 

Each additional person will be charged $6, and for children aged nine or younger, admission is free. If you want to explore Monument Valley through the general drive, we recommend booking your entry ticket online to save time on your visiting day. The entry fee includes a free Valley Drive map, which lays out a route to visit the top attractions, starting from the visitor center. 

The starting point is indicated with a star, and the route accessible to you will be traced in red. The map uses numbers to mark out stops on the drive route and is super easy to follow. Keep in mind that the park’s admittance hours change depending on the season, so consult its official website before heading out. 

Are There Any Limitations to Self-Driving Through Monument Valley?

Unfortunately, there are some limitations to self-driving through Monument Valley. You will be more limited in terms of places you can explore because you will not be allowed to make an excursion near the hills, stray too far off the road, or access exclusive areas. 

For instance, the southern part of the park (under Rain God Mesa) is only accessible with organized tours under a travel guide. So, if you want an unbridled exploring experience, a guided tour with a reputable company like MaxTour might be the best way to visit Monument Valley.

In a guided tour, you will be riding in your tour company’s vehicle, which will be open-air and can seat up to twelve passengers. These tours typically allow you to access off-limit areas of the valley; guided tours also bring a deeper exploration of the history and culture of the Navajo people and an appreciation for the region's unique geography. 

Of course, you should consider taking MaxTour’s Bryce and Zion tour for a truly luxurious experience!

Best Stops on the Valley Drive

If you stick to the route traced out on the map, you’ll be guided through eleven of the most spectacular spots to see in Monument Valley. Below, we’ve highlighted the best of these views you absolutely shouldn’t miss. 

  1. The Mittens and Merrick’s Butte

As one of the most famous landscapes in the world, no Monument Valley trip is complete without a visit to the Mitten and Merrick Buttes. Stop by these stunning, imposing rock formations for a wonderful picture to add to your memory book. 

  1. Elephant Butte

Another of the park’s famous bizarre formations, this sandstone formation is supposed to resemble an elephant, making it well worth a visit! 

  1. Three Sisters

This is another great photo stop–the Three Sisters are three thin, oddly-shaped, gorgeous pinnacles; they are one of nature’s finest sculptures. 

  1. John Ford’s Point

Any fan of Forrest Gump or Stagecoach will jump at the opportunity to visit this scenic point, named after the famous director himself. For a few dollars, you can even get a picture of yourself on a horse for your very own John Wayne moment! 

  1.  Camel Butte

Also called the Camel’s Hump, this striking rock formation will leave you awestruck. 

  1.  Rain God Mesa

Situated in the middle of the valley, this magnificent rock formation is worth visiting for its grandeur and size. 

Additional Tips 

Make sure to pack lots of drinking water in an insulated water bottle as it can get quite hot during the day, and the valley does not have any drinking facilities or restrooms. Additionally, the sun in this part of Utah is quite strong–especially during the summers–so bring a large hat and apply lots of high-SPF sunscreen beforehand.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maxtour

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