Monument Valley, Navajo Nation

6/10/2013 -- 6/12/2013

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Monument Valley (Navajo: Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii, meaning valley within the rocks), a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, was created from nature's patient and timeless erosion.  Extending into Utah and Arizona, this great valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that tower at heights of 400 to 1,000 feet surrounded by miles of mesas and buttes, shrubs, trees and windblown sand, all comprising the magnificent colors of the valley.   Director John Ford used the location for a number of his best known films (starting with Stagecoach in 1939), and had defined what decades of moviegoers think of when they imagine the American West.

Getting there ...

The drive from Arches to Monument Valley was a 150-mile scenic route.  Especially when we approached the valley on Highway 163, I could not resist to stop to take a few shots of the panoramic view with the straight road leading to the valley (and I had to ask Woanyu to watch my back for traffic ....).


[Arches (6/8--6/10)] [Monument Valley (6/10--6/12)] [Antelope Canyon (6/12--6/14)]

Day 3 (6/10) ...





On the way from Mystery Valley to Teardrop Arch (which is an unmarked location on the map outside of Monument Valley), we passed by a few vista points which had very nice panoramic views of the Monument Valley.  We met a couple from China who were lost and trapped on the sandy road in their rental passenger vehicle.  Our guide helped them push and drive their car to get them out.
The Teardrop Arch/Window frames the mesas and buttes perfectly with warm late afternoon light.  It's an iconic shot I did not want to miss even though it has been done so many times before by others.





Day 4 (6/11) ...












Originally I planned to stay in a traditional hogan (as part of the tour offered by Black's Tour).  But since the View Hotel was so nice that we changed our mind and decided to stay in the hotel room for another comfortable night


Day 5 (6/12) ...



Next stop: Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell


[Arches (6/8--6/10)] [Monument Valley (6/10--6/12)] [Antelope Canyon (6/12--6/14)]

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