Weekend In Monument Valley, UT

Here is the view from the hotel balcony.  Pictures will never do it justice.



This was the one hiking trail you could take without a Navajo guide.  It was a good 3 mile hike and absolutely beautiful.  Off in the distance a man rang a cow bell to move his sheep to another area.  A few seconds later the herding dogs spotted us and came to say hello.  We were very happy that they were friendly!


This sign was out in the middle of the trail and there was no hogan in sight.  Not sure where it came from. 



This chart hung in the hotel room.  It shows what plants are used to dye wool.  Among these are red onion skin and juniper berries and needles.



On Saturday we took a guided tour through the park.  We were the only Americans in a group of lively German tourists who had the best camera equipment I have ever seen.  My camera conked out the first day and all of these were taken using my phone.  They are highly touched up.  This was the first photo op.  This old trunk is that of a juniper tree.  Monument Valley is a very windy place and this gnarled trunk shows what years of wind and elements can create.




This lady is named Susie.  She is 91 years old and only speaks Navajo.  She is inside her hogan

(pronounced ho-gahn).   We pulled up with the tour guide into this little ranch and the tour guide beeped the horn a few times.  Susie no longer lives in the hogan but has a small house across the lot.  The guide gathered us all into the hogan and Susie came out of her house and entered the hogan.  She took a seat on a small bench opposite of the door.  She showed us how she makes wool and had a long spindle that she rolled against her leg.  The wool comes from sheep on her land.   The highlight of this tour was meeting her.  This wasn’t something just set up for the tourists.  This is where and how she lives.  That was pretty neat. 


I ws the lucky recipient of a Navajo hair bun.  This is a style that is worn by both the men and women.  If I remember correctly, the men wear it higher up on the head.  I sat infront of Susie in the hogan while she brushed my hair with a buffalo hair brush.  She wound it with wool from her own sheep.  It was such a privilege!   



Although you can’t tell, these dunes are of the most rich terra cotta color.  The sand is as fine as powder.





The Navajo nation is knows for it’s wild horses.  Our guide stopped to let us take some pictures and these guys wandered onto the set.  It was neat to see. 




Well, I would love to go back with some better camera equipment.  It was an incredible trip.  On Saturday night when we returned from dinner, I decided to sit out on the balcony and take in the stars.  There are no street lights at all and it is very quiet.  I caught a glimpse of an orange light peeking behind a cloud layered on the horizon of the night sky.  It was the rising moon, a little past the full stage.  All of the sudden in the distance I could hear drum beats coming from the valley below.  There were no lights from campfires or anything else out there that I could detect.  I stood on the balcony anticipating the moon to rise up like the leading lady on the stage of the night sky.  The drums seem to get louder and more intense.  Suddenly the moon broke free of the clouds and I almost wanted to applaud it’s arrival.  Even the stone buttes seem to rise up to it.  Everything seem to be so alive.  The wind picked up and whistled around the building like a voice.  I could have cried.  It was so beautiful.  The moon cast a milky blue glow onto the buttes and the desert below.  The drum beats continued.  I didn’t want it to end.

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27 thoughts on “Weekend In Monument Valley, UT

  1. Hi Nightbane, I hope you get to go back soon. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I don't believe that for a second. You do have a great eye!!

  3. I love this place. Thank you for reminding me it's been too long since I was there.

  4. Thanks Bess. I don't think I could ever replicate this trip. –Even if I were to return 100 times. There were some very amazing experiences had there. Definitely add it to your places to see. It is incredible.

  5. Whoa!! these are amazing Jenn! sounds fab! epsecially how you got your hair done and the wild horses, I would have loved that!So glad you had an awesome time 🙂 how could you not in a place like that eh?! I'll mark it as somewhere I have to go at some point 🙂

  6. Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. It was an amazing, magical even, trip.

  7. That would be a dream!

  8. Oh My Goddesses ~ The photos were incredible.
    I am so happy I stumbled upon you.
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Hello..Take some oats and a rope bridle and try your luck and or skill..just a beautiful place..Peace Tony

  10. Thanks LB! I think a part of it may have just been sheer luck. 🙂

  11. How incredibly beautiful!! You really have an eye for what makes a stunning photo!!

  12. Hi Amy! It was a very special trip. I don't think I will be ever able to capture the same magic in future trips there. It was amazing! It was very special to have Susie do my hair. I still have the yarn as a souvenir. I'll never forget this trip for as long as I live.

  13. Hi Irony, I hope you get an opportunity to come back! It was amazing. The hotel was a little pricy because its the tourist season. It was definitely a treat. I know on other seasons the price goes down. Here are the websites to where I stayed and also to one other resort across the street:
    or http://www.gouldings.com.
    I stayed at The View. The nice thing about it is that they took great measures to make the building blend into the surrounding. It is painted the exact same color as the earth. While hiking Saturday morning I noticed that you could barely make out the hotel on the hill. They did a great job. There is no swimming pool there out of respect for the locals that have no running water still. It was an amazing place. I can't say enough good things about it. If you go, let me know and I'll fill you in on good places to eat and things to do, etc…

  14. Kira, I'm with you there! I started keeping a notebook of places I've wanted to see. I was happy to check this one off my list. Of course the new entry reads 'go back to Monument Valley.' 😉

  15. Tony, I can completely see the song as being appropriate for this area. I would have loved to have gone horseback riding but it was extremely expensive. We saw other folks out there touring on horseback and I would like to go back and splurge on that. It has to be a wonderful way to explore the valley.

  16. Emjay, magical is definitely the word I would use to describe it. It was a bummer about the camera but I'm happy to have what I have with the camera phone. Next time I go back I'll be sure to have some better equipment. I was very touched to have Susie do my hair. I'll never forget that.

  17. Hi Freedom, it was absolutely beautiful there. I guess there had been a family that had lived up on that mesa at one point. They herded sheep. Not sure how they got up there though! The weather wasn't bad. I'm used to 100+ temps so it was maybe in the 90s on Friday & Saturday. Sunday it ws in the 80s. It was a weekend trip.

  18. Thanks Toukou san. It was a wonderful trip.

  19. What a special trip Jennifer! To have Susie brush your hair…Wow! Beautiful photos…even if they were taken with your cell phone!

  20. .. oooooooh! Lovely, fascinating, beautiful scenes. 🙂

  21. What an incredible trip!! Your description drove tears into my eyes. Because I can imagine it so well after having had a similar experience – minus the drums and the Navajos – in Zion National Park.And seeing those pictures makes me even more mad about the fact that I was so close at one time and couldn't make it.Darn! I have to go there. Was the hotel terribly expensive? I mean being so close to the sight and all? Somehow I can't imagine there being more then one (or at least I hope there isn't more then one. I was already shocked to read that there is one that close to the Monuments)

  22. Deffinately a trip worth taking. That's how I hope to grow old, taking trip more and more each year, going longer distances.

  23. Hello..Sometimes a picture makes me think of a song..most times..this one made me think of Jaggers 'Wild Horses'..I sing that song..and would ride if I went to that valley..did you?..they really are beautiful pictures..Peace Tony

  24. What a magical trip this must have been. How annoying about your camera but your phone has done a good job. ….. The landscape is beautiful in its starkness. You must have been really touched to have Susie do your hair.

  25. Your pictures are incredible. It looks stunning and beautiful there. I love the Mesa and it seems that you saw many different things. What fun!! How long were you there? Was it quite hot? Looks like a fantastic trip.

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