Family Vacations in Utah

Family Vacations in Utah: Monument Valley

Two of the most recognizable formations in Monument Valley are the aptly named East Mitten and West Mitten buttes.

Mythic-looking monoliths of red sandstone loom over the sandy desert floor of Monument Valley in Utah and Arizona. Monument Valley is a Navajo Nation Tribal Park. It offers some of the most enduring images in the West. The valley's striking formations have been photographed countless times for Hollywood Westerns, postcards, and advertisements of all kinds -- for good reason. Little has changed since John Ford directed John Wayne here in Stagecoach in 1939.

Many of the formations in Monument Valley (known as Tsé Bii' Ndzisgaii in Navajo, or "Valley of the Rocks") straddle the Utah-Arizona border. They were pushed through Earth's surface by geological upheaval, then carved by wind and rivers. The rock is stratified in three principal layers, with siltstone atop sandstone atop shale. Among the most recognizable formations in Monument Valley are the 300-foot-tall, precariously narrow Totem Pole; the arch known as Ear of the Wind; and the East Mitten and West Mitten buttes.

Monument Valley Information

Address: Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Visitor Center at Arizona-Utah border

E. off Hwy. 163, Monument Valley, UT

Telephone: 435/727-5874

Hours of Operation:

  • May - Sept., 6 a.m. - 8:30 p.m., daily
  • Oct - Apr., 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., daily

Admission: $5 adults; kids free

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Utah State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Utah, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.