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How Long Is the Drive Through Monument Valley?

Last Update on August 16, 2023
by Marko Milin
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If you're a fan of breathtaking landscapes and the allure of the Wild West, a drive through Monument Valley is an adventure you won't want to miss. Located in the heart of the American Southwest, Monument Valley is a place of iconic beauty, with its red sandstone buttes and mesas creating a stunning backdrop that seems straight out of a classic Western movie. 

But, have you ever wondered how long is the drive through Monument Valley? Well, actually it's not as long as you might think.

In this article, we'll explore this, the sights you can expect to see along the way, and where exactly Monument Valley is situated in relation to major cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City.

How Long Is the Drive Through Monument Valley?

The drive through Monument Valley covers a 17-mile (27 km) loop road. Most people spend about 3 hours driving through the valley, but some people spend as little as 2 hours or even longer than 4 hours, and basically it all depends on you and how much time do you want to spend at Monument Valley.

While the distance itself doesn't seem long, the drive itself is a leisurely one due to the numerous photo stops and viewpoints that you won't be able to resist. It's not called a "scenic drive" for nothing!

The road winds through the valley floor, offering ever-changing perspectives of the mesmerizing sandstone formations that dominate the landscape. It's essential to budget extra time to fully immerse yourself in the natural splendor of Monument Valley.

1.The loop road is unpaved and can be rough in spots, so a vehicle with good ground clearance is recommended.

2,Early morning or late afternoon are ideal times for the drive to avoid the midday heat and capture the best lighting for photos.

    3. Wildlife such as coyotes and wild horses can occasionally be spotted along the route, adding to the experience.

    Things to See on the Drive Through Monument Valley

    As you embark on your drive through Monument Valley, your eyes will be treated to a visual feast of iconic landmarks. The most recognizable sights include the majestic Mittens and Merrick Buttes, towering like ancient guardians of the valley. 

    You'll also encounter the Three Sisters, massive rock pinnacles that stand in elegant formation. Each turn on the loop road reveals new vistas, allowing you to capture stunning photographs that will undoubtedly become cherished memories.

    Aside from the geological wonders, keep an eye out for the local Navajo people who call this area home. You might spot Navajo artists and vendors selling traditional crafts. Take the opportunity to appreciate their craftsmanship and learn about their rich heritage, and there is also a museum that chronicles the trading post past of the area. 

    Want to know even more things to do and see on your drive? Check out our blog post on what to see in Monument Valley!

    Where Is Monument Valley?

    Monument Valley straddles the border between Arizona and Utah in the southwestern United States. For those looking to visit from major cities, here are the approximate driving distances:

    From Las Vegas, Nevada: Monument Valley is about 400 miles (644 km) away, which translates to a driving time of around 6.5 hours.

    From Phoenix, Arizona: The distance to Monument Valley is roughly 320 miles (515 km), and the drive typically takes about 5 hours.

    From Salt Lake City, Utah: Expect a journey of approximately 385 miles (620 km), with an estimated driving time of 6.5 hours.

    Reaching Monument Valley requires a whole lot of driving but, if you're able to do it, the scenic routes and the rewarding destination make it worth the effort. 

    Alternatively, you can alleviate the stress of driving entirely by joining one of the National Park Tours from Las Vegas. In addition to Monument Valley, these tours often include stops at the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park, packed in a 3 day exciting itinerary.

    The Bottom Line

    The scenic drive through Monument Valley lasts 2–4 hours. With its awe-inspiring rock formations, rich Native American heritage, and cinematic views, this journey promises visitors an unforgettable experience. 

    The 17-mile loop road takes just a few hours to traverse, but the memories you create and the sights you behold will stay with you forever. Whether you're a photographer, nature lover, or curious traveler, Monument Valley invites you to enjoy its stunning beauty and experience the spirit of the Wild West.


    Marko Milin

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