monument valley, arizona

spring 2017

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Monument Valley is a Navajo Nation tribal park, straddling the border of northeastern Arizona and southeastern Utah of the Colorado Plateau. It preserves the Navajo way of life and some of the most striking and recognizable landscapes of sandstone buttes, mesas and spires in the entire Southwest. The area is entirely within the Navajo Indian Reservation near the small Indian town of Goulding, established in 1923 as a trading post, and now has a comprehensive range of visitor services.

Mystery Valley is a section of Monument Valley that is only accessible by visitors who have a Navajo guide.  There are several sensitive archeological sites, several Navajo families whose homes are in the area and do not want to be disturbed, and perhaps most importantly, the roads are very poor with deep sand and no signage at all.

Aside from solitude, Mystery Valley holds a large number of very well preserved Anasazi (Navajo for "the Ancient Ones") ruins and artifacts, plus it has stunning scenery and views of Monument Valley in the distance.

The Navajo arrived in the Four Corners area about 500 years ago, hundreds of years after the Anasazi had abandoned their cliff dwellings and moved south.