Monument Valley – one of America’s great natural panoramas
Monument Valley is one of the most filmed landscapes in Western cinema. Throughout the 20th century, it has been featured in many famous Hollywood movies and is so recognisable that when people visit it, they feel like they have already been there a hundred times. Spanning more than 700 years of history, these striking landmarks are a unique symbol of Native American civilisation. Monument Valley is older than the history of the United States and the United Kingdom put together.
What’s the climate like?
The valley experiences a variable climate, which is characterised by very hot summers (usually exceeding 35 degrees Celsius) that also include a notable monsoon season, where flooding is common. Winters are relatively cold and snow, which is not uncommon, can be particularly beautiful when juxtaposed against the dramatic, red landscape.
How to get there
Transportation to Monument Valley is not as easy or convenient as getting to other major landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon or Mount Rushmore. The area is particularly remote and reaching it involves travelling along a long loop road, where there are limited services and food outlets. The nearest airports are Albuquerque, Denver and Phoenix, which can be reached from a number of UK airports via stansted transfers. The cost of travelling in the park (which is the Navajo Tribal Park) is $5 dollars for each person and travellers should note that US National Park passes are not accepted here.
The loop around Monument Valley can be completed in just half an hour by car, although many people prefer to spend an entire day here to grasp the shier wonder of the scenery. Native guides will also take drivers to other areas off the beaten track (at a fee).
How to keep safe
With high UV levels and soaring temperatures during the summer months, visitors should keep well stocked with water and and sun scream. There are relatively few dangers in Monument Valley, although visitors are recommended not to venture under any plants or rocks, where scorpions, tarantulas or rattlesnakes may be present. Of course, these animals and insects are more afraid of humans than they are of them!
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