Utah Attractions] Monument Valley and Mystery Valley Day Trip | Don't miss the classic scenes of American western movies.

Monument Valley | Introduction

Monument Valley (Monument Valley), located on the Utah-Arizona border, is famous for its reddish-orange rocky landscape, which is a classic scene in many American Western movies, and has therefore become a symbol of Western cinema and culture. The nearest town is Page, a 2.5 hour drive from Moab or Page. A day trip to Monument Valley with Mystery Valley is recommended, or if you have more days to spare, we recommend a visit with the neighboringAntelope Canyon,Canyonlands National Park,Arches National Parketc. are scheduled on the same trip.

Monument Valley, Mystery Valley 1

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Monument Valley Tribel Park is not a national park, so the national park annual pass is not applicable here. If you visit the park by yourself, the admission fee is $5 per person. The Mystic Valley is only open to tour groups, so you can't visit it on your own. We chose to join Navajo Spirit Tour's All Day Mystery and Monument Valley tour, which includes a 3.5-hour Mystery Valley tour in the morning and a 3-hour Monument Valley tour in the afternoon, because we wanted to visit the nearby Mystery Valley. 2014 In 2014, the tour fee was $150 per person. Although the price was a bit higher, the content was very good, and the tour guides were all local Navajo people who grew up in the area, and the explanation was very clear and detailed.

Highway 163 | The Forrest Gump Road

Before driving into Monument Valley Tribel Park, you will pass Highway 163, and there are many wonderful scenery along the way. The geology of the area is reddish in color, and there are various rock peaks and colorful sedimentary rocks along the way. In the movie "Forrest Gump", Forrest Gump ended his cross-country run in front of Monument Valley. The final shot of Forrest Gump's run was taken on Highway 163, north of Monument Valley, near Mile Marker 13-16. Because the movie was so famous, Highway 163 became known as "The Forrest Gump Road".

Visitor Center | Hotels | Restaurants | View Hotel

Monument Valley Tribel Park is the largest Indian reservation in the United States and is owned by the Navajo Nation. There are many such Indian reservations in the United States, which are maintained and operated by Indians, basically it can be said that it is a national park managed by Indians.Monument valley has only one hotel, View Hotel, which is located in the same building as the Visitor center and the restaurant. This building is also an excellent viewpoint, and the view from the second floor is quite good. After our morning trip to Mystery valley, we were driven back to the visitor center for lunch. Since this is an Indian place, the restaurant sells Indian style food.

In front of the Visitor Center, you can visit a traditional Navajo house. There are different types of huts depending on the purpose, and the huts for boys and girls have different styles. These huts are specially designed for ventilation in order to cope with the heat of the desert.

Attractions | Mystery Valley

In the morning, the group traveled to Mystery valley in the guide's jeep, passing through the area where the Navajo still live today. The road into Mystery Valley is very primitive and controlled, so cars are not allowed to enter. During the three-hour trip, our guide gave us many stops in the middle of the road, and each stop had a little story and legend of the Navajo people to share.

Mystery valley has a lot of small arches and caves, the scenery is quite strange. We climbed up to the high looking caves and enjoyed the beautiful view of Mystery Valley from above. Our guide even sang some Navajo songs in the cave.

The Navajo were not the first indigenous people to come here, and the vast rocky desert contains historical ruins that even the Navajo do not know exactly when they were formed. Some of the walls are covered with age-old murals. Occasionally archaeologists apply to visit, but because the Navajo are so protective of the area they live in, it's not easy to take more precise measurements, and at the time of our trip the age of the ruins was not yet known with any great precision.

There are also mysterious relics in the caverns, where walls were once built over the caverns, not sure if they were used for shelter or food storage, but they were supposed to provide protection from the wind, rain, and sun. Because there are so many mysteries, this place is called Mystery Valley.

(2023Note: These ruins are very similar.Mesa Verde National ParkThe Ancient Puebloan cultural relics should belong to the same culture).

There are two big arches in Mystery valley, Scull arch and Honeymoon arch, the one below is Honeymoon arch.

Attractions | Monument Valley

In the afternoon, a Jeep tour of Monument valley took us on a 17-mile Valley drive around the valley. along the way, we could see many towering peaks, known as Butte, according to statistics, there are more than 40 peaks of various sizes in Monument valley, with heights ranging from 400 to 1,000 feet. According to statistics, there are more than 40 large and small rock peaks in the whole Monument valley, with a height of 400~1000 feet.

On the way, we can see the three monuments in Monument Valley, which are not to be missed. Since 1930, at least 20 movies have been filmed in Monument Valley, including the aforementioned Forrest Gump, Mission Impossible 2, Tom Cruise's rock-climbing sequence, and Back to the Future 3, all of which were filmed here. These peaks are much taller and more spectacular in real life than in photos. Each peak has its own name, and the most iconic scenes are the three peaks. The left one is called West Mitten Buttes, and the next one is The Mittens Merrick Butte.

Other famous peaks include the Three Sisters, Elephant Butte and Cly Butte. The Three Sisters look like three standing people, with the tallest sister at 183 meters and the middle sister at 99 meters.

After a short drive, we arrived at John Ford's Point rest stop. John Ford was the first director to shoot a movie in Monument Valley, and in 1939, he shot the classic western movie "Stagecoach" here. If you are interested, you can go horseback riding here and relive the western scene of the old movie.

Otherwise, the view from John Ford's Point was quite nice. We were able to get relatively close to photograph the Rocky Peak area and listen to our guide explain the history of the Navajo, who, like many other Indians in the area, had been driven from their homeland by the white man and were not allowed to return until 1868.

We also see a World War II monument here. During World War II, hundreds of Navajo people also joined the army, so now there is a monument in Monument valley to commemorate the soldiers who died at that time. During World War II, the U.S. used the Navajo native language to create a military code, which was the only cryptographic system that was not broken by the Japanese during the war, and was considered a key to the U.S. victory in World War II.

Continuing east, you will pass by more rocky peaks, including Camel Butte, Totem Pole and Yei Bi Chei, Thumb Butte, etc. The Totem Pole is the tallest natural rock pillar in the world. Totem Pole is the tallest natural stone pillar in the world.

At the end of the tour, we came to the stone wall, the small arch at the top of the wall is called the Eye of the sun because of its shape and high position like an eye. Like Mystery Valley, there are a lot of ruins here that are worth studying by archaeologists.

This round hole in the arch of rock is called the Eye of god. The black lines on the side look like tears. Under the Eye of God, the guide again shared his family's personal experience, this time a sad story about his grandmother who was captured and abused by American soldiers during the Great War and returned to her birthplace.

Then we took the jeep and left. It was sunset on the way back, the sunset in Monument valley is very beautiful, when the sunset light sprinkled on the stone pillars, reflecting the red shadow people can't help but marvel at the magic of creation.

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