We set off this morning from Gallup and made our way north west, across the New Mexico State border and into Arizona, heading for Monument Valley. As we neared Monument Valley, the road into the visitor centre briefly crossed into the state of Utah before back into Arizona.
Monument Valley is a vast area that consists of huge rock formations, formed over hundreds of millions of years of erosion and plate tectonic activity. It’s used as the backdrop for many cowboy films, and is what most people would typically associate with the ‘Wild West’.
There is a 17 mile trail that you can drive, which takes you around a section of Monument Valley and offers spectacular views. As if we hadn’t driven enough already this holiday, we took the scenic drive through the valley. The roads were quite treacherous due to the recent heavy rain (which again we seem to have missed), but Leccy had fun driving along the track, even if our hearts were in our mouths on a couple of occasions!
It’s difficult to put into words the amazing views along the trail, but hopefully some of the pics will help do it some justice. We stopped off at many points along the route for pictures, with each stop offering a different and equally impressive view as the last. We were careful not to stray too far off the road and into the rocks when on foot, as there were warning signs to be on the look out for poisonous wildlife (rattlesnakes and scorpions) within the valley!
After a couple of hours at Monument Valley, we headed back to the hotel we had pre-booked for the night, which is in a tiny town called Kayenta in northern Arizona. If you were driving past, you could literally blink and miss it. Monument Valley and Kayenta both sit within Navajo land (native Americans), which is sacred. For us, this unfortunately means they don’t serve alcohol (the nearest place is over an hour away in Utah). So it’s a quiet night at the hotel playing poker before we set off in the morning to rejoin Route 66 and continue west.
Next stop: Flagstaff, Arizona