Monument Valley, Arizona and Utah, USA

Monument Valley, Arizona

 

Monument Valley is a an area know for its impressively formed sandstone buttes. The region is part of the Colorado Plateau, located in the Navajo Nation on the border between the states of Arizona and Utah in the American Southwest. Encompassing much of the area surrounding Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Monument Valley is an important part of Native American heritage. For a $5 fee, visitors to Monument Valley can take a 2-3 hour scenic drive over a 17 mile (27 km) dirt road, which is open from 6:00am-8:30pm from May to September, and 8:00am-4:30pm from October to April. Other visitors may chose to enjoy a multi-hour or overnight horseback ride to some of the more spectacular views and sites. If you’re interested in a unique view of Monument Valley you can even take a hot air balloon ride over the area. Visitors who are arriving via car can only access the park via Highway 163. There are two hotels near Monument Valley, and the nearest town of Kayenta, Arizona, is about 20 miles (32 km) away. Monument Valley is part of a greater network of attractions called the Grand Circle which also includes Grand Canyon National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Zion Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Arches National Park.

Monument Valley, Arizona

Monument Valley, Arizona

Monument Valley, Arizona

Monument Valley, Arizona

Monument Valley, Arizona

Monument Valley, Arizona

Credit: Thad

West Mitten Butte, Monument Valley, Arizona

Monument Valley, Arizona

Credit: Thad

Monument Valley, Arizona

The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona, USA

The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona, USA

Credit: Gabe

In Arizona, near the border with Utah, in the United States, you can find a stunning sandstone rock formation called The Wave. The Wave is on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes, which are in turn located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, on the Colorado Plateau. This formation is actually sand dunes calcified in vertical and horizontal layers, and the fascinating color bands are iron oxides, hematite, and goethite. The Jurassic-age Navajo sandstone making up The Wave is estimated to be 190 million years old. Getting to The Wave requires a moderately difficult 3 mile hike from the Wire Pass Trailhead. Due to the delicate nature of this formation, visitors must arrange a day permit in advance and pay a $7 fee per person. Only 20 of the highly sought-after permits are issued for each day. More info on permits can be found on the Bureau of Land Management website. Camping is not allowed in the permit area, and the closest accommodation can be found in the small towns of Kanab, Utah and Page, Arizona.

The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona, USA

Credit: Gabe

The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona, USA

Credit: Shaan Hurley

The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona, USA

Credit: Gabe

The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona, USA

Credit: Gabe

The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona, USA

Credit: Daniel Pham

The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona, USA

Credit: Ian Parker

The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona, USA

Credit: Gabe

The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona, USA

Credit: Frans Lanting

The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona, USA

Credit: Jim Gordon

The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona, USA

Credit: Gabe