Monument Valley

Then we were in the Navajo Nation…

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Love the way the Navajo (known to its own speakers as Diné) built the View Hotel to blend into the land so as not to detract from the beauty of the land around it. No garish neon lights here. The top floor features StarView rooms with unforgettable views of the stars, the entirety of Monument Valley.  The rounded shape to the right is the visitor center.

The scenics here are so jaw-dropping that I’ve had a hard time keeping the images I post to my usual minimum. Without further ado, here is what I came up with:MonumentValley-0712

One of the ubiquitous Reservation dogs to greet us…

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The “Mittens” seem to have developed iconic status. A prominent and unique feature, they have appeared in a number of movies, particularly Westerns. I believe John Ford may have been the one to start the trend.

Some more images in random order. You can take a closer look by clicking on any image.

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A last look back as we left Monument Valley, heading for Mexican Hat.

How Mexican Hat got its name.

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Another marvelous formation as we continued down the road. There seemed to be no end to them in this amazing landscape.

Oh, Great Spirit, Oh Grandfathers,
How lucky can one be to know such beauty?
One can search the world over
And not find this much loveliness.

Dineh (Navajo) Wind Prayer by Wolfeyes 

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34 thoughts on “Monument Valley

  1. I’ve always been a big fan of Tony Hillerman books, but have only visited Navajo-land in my imagination. These wonderful images are breathtaking, Gunta. Thank you for taking me there. Like you, I am quite impressed with the hotel and visitor center. Now I want to go there and see stars. Road trip! 🙂 Magical words, not uttered often enough in my life.

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    • So many stunning places in this world for sure. It’s become a whole lot more popular than my first visit in 1981. The hotel wasn’t there then, but I think the Navajos have done a pretty good job of maintaining the beauty without letting the tourists overwhelm it. My pleasure indeed.

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    • Thanks! Some of the monoliths have names: the elephant and the camel (with his nose up in the air) come to mind. At the right angle they can be recognized as such. I didn’t get a shot at the elephant where it’s a bit more obvious.

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  2. I believe this is one of those coming of age experiences for young Americans, or whenever you do it, then all the world doing it, again and again whenever possible. It sure makes you fall in love with the planet. Good going, you guys. Thanks for the stunning reminders, I’m ready for another round

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    • It was certainly a marvelous adventure this time around. The first time through Monument Valley was also pretty exciting. It left a yearning to return and I don’t think I’ve totally scratched the itch even now. But there’s more yet to come…

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    • Monument Valley is truly amazing. And just imagine… you can count it as a foreign country. It didn’t hurt that we were there on the perfect day with those amazing fluffy clouds for backdrop.

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    • Every day? Truly? You are truly blessed. That’s one of the most awe-inspiring spots I’ve ever encountered. Saw it in 1981 and perhaps another time… the memory fades a bit. Before the hotel and visitor center. I wouldn’t mind spending some time there, but not in summer.

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  3. Awesome photos of the landscapes! Yes, John Ford is the director that shot many of his westerns in Monument Valley. I also love the way that the Navaho designed the hotel to blend into the landscape, I can imagine that the views from there are spectacular, yet the hotel itself is barely noticeable.

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    • Thanks, Lavinia. It is one of those places beyond description and photos don’t begin to convey the beauty of the place. I almost didn’t find the hotel when I was in the valley below (where the picture of it was taken). It’s great that they didn’t ruin that awesome landscape.

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    • I was there in 1981. The hotel and visitor center hadn’t been built yet, but we could wander around a bit more back then. These days you’re pretty much restricted to a fairly crowded dirt road or one of the tours run by the Navajos. It’s rather bittersweet to revisit the parks I enjoyed back in the 70s & 80s. It’s great to see folks enjoying them, but they’re sure a lot more crowded.

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