This morning I will depart The Waldorf Astoria Boulders Resort in Carefree, AZ for a 5-6 hour road trip ending in Mexican Hat, Utah at The San Juan River Inn. The purpose of the weekend trip is to visit Monument Valley a place that has been on my “list” for several years but have not yet visited. Today’s road trip basically involves taking Route 17 North out of Phoenix passing through the beautiful mountain resort area of Sedona and then further north to Flagstaff, then a more secondary highway Route 160 further north to Kayenta via Tuba City. At this point one enters the Navajo Nation and the area known as The Navajo Tribal Park. Route 160 continues north over the border into Utah and then eventually crosses right through the Monument Valley area.
This relatively famous landscape has been used for years and actually made famous by Hollywood Westerns in particular John Ford who began shooting on location years ago. Tse Bii Ndzigaii in Navajo which means “Valley of The Rocks.” The landscape is a magnificent area known for its sandstone buttes rising above the earth’s surface creating this unique panoramic visa. One can simply drive through the Valley or explore its many off trails with a Navajo Guide. The area is part of what’s known as the Four Corners Region which is the only geographic location in the USA where four states meet: Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Monument Valley lies in a somewhat isolated area and no matter how you organize your trip one has to fly into a city which is at least 5-6 hours by car. Accommodations are also very limited in this area; there are actually only two hotels in Monument Valley: The View and Gouldings Lodge which become fully booked months in advance. I chose to stay in the little canyon village of Mexican Hat, Utah at The San Juan River Inn overlooking the lovely River Canyon and then driving to and from Monument Valley and its environs which is approximately 22 miles away.
Mexican Hat, Utah is named for the unique rock formation which resembles that of a Mexican Sombrero Hat.
Please stay tuned for further postings about this weekend Navajo adventure in the Monument Valley region!!