Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon are two of the most iconic attractions in the American Southwest, but there's also plenty to see between them.
Guided tours will include stops but, when you're planning your own road trip from Monument Valley to the Grand Canyon, you might be unsure where to go. We've got you covered! Buckle up and get ready to explore must-visit spots that will make your journey even more memorable.
As you leave the Monument Valley and head towards the Grand Canyon, your first stop should be Church Rock. This impressive rock formation, shaped like a cathedral spire, rises proudly from the vast desert landscape and is easily visible from the highway.
Church Rock is steeped in Navajo history and culture, holding deep spiritual significance for the local community. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this natural wonder and learn about its cultural importance. You can also capture some fantastic photos here.
Navajo National Monument
As you continue your journey, make sure to visit the Navajo National Monument, a true hidden gem. This national monument is home to well-preserved ancient dwellings that showcase the rich history of the region.
The monument features two main ancient villages: Betatakin and Keet Seel. While visiting these archaeological wonders, you'll have the opportunity to learn about the daily lives and culture of those who inhabited the area centuries ago.
If you have time, guided tours are available. Also, the surrounding landscape is great for hiking.
No journey between Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon would be complete without a visit to the world-famous Antelope Canyon. Located near Page, Arizona, Antelope Canyon is a mesmerizing slot canyon carved by centuries of wind and water erosion.
The canyon features narrow passageways with smooth, flowing curves and light beams that filter through the narrow openings, creating a surreal and ethereal atmosphere. You may not be able to squeeze in a tour if you're in a time crunch but, if you can, the tours are definitely worth it.
If you want to see the best of the Southwest in a single trip, you can visit Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, and Antelope Canyon (as well as Bryce and Zion National Parks) in a 3-day Southwest US tour.
Coal Mine Canyon
A short detour from your route will lead you to the stunning Coal Mine Canyon, a hidden treasure that rivals the Grand Canyon's beauty. Although not as vast or well-known, Coal Mine Canyon offers a unique charm of its own.
The canyon's vibrant red and orange hues contrast against the deep blue sky, making it a photographer's paradise. The peace and quiet of this remote location will leave you feeling connected to nature and its incredible forces.
Navajo Moenave Dinosaur Tracks
Before you reach the Grand Canyon, don't forget to make a pit stop at Navajo Moenave Dinosaur Tracks. If you're a fan of prehistoric creatures, this is a spot you shouldn't miss.
Hidden within the sandstone cliffs, you'll find well-preserved dinosaur tracks dating back millions of years. These tracks offer a fascinating glimpse into the world of dinosaurs that once roamed this very land. Follow the designated trails to observe the tracks closely, but remember to leave them undisturbed for others to enjoy.
Your journey between Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon will be dotted with remarkable sights and experiences. As you embark on this road trip, make sure to respect the natural and cultural heritage of the places you visit. Keep the environment clean, follow any guidelines or restrictions, and be mindful of the local communities and their traditions.