Suggestions for Monument Valley vacation?
My husband and I are planning a vacation in the Monument Valley area. We won't be hauling our own horses but are looking for some reputable trail rides in that area, as well as sightseeing and so forth.
Do any of you have recommendations for what part of the year is good to visit, as well as places to visit? Suggestions for what to avoid?
Monument Valley is beautiful! I have never been there with horses, but I would say contact the Navajo Nation as a starting point, because it's all reservation and you have to play by their rules.
Thanks, MicKey - anything else you can suggest for us to do while we're in that area?
Unfortunately no, I've ever only driven through, even though I REALLY want to stay longer than the time it takes to get gas and a few pictures! Just from my limited experience though, it is VERRRRY desolate out there. The reservation is truly another world, so do your research! Sorry I can't help more. :-( But I can't wait to see your pictures when you get back!!
There are several outfitters that service the National Parks area of Southern Utah. I don't know if you are staying just in the Northern AZ area or how wide a circle you will travel.
You can ride one of their horses into most of the National Parks in Southern Utah. Zions, Bryce Canyon, Grand Staircase Escalante, Capitial Reef. And some trips over on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Horseback Riding Bryce Canyon Utah Trail Guide
Horseback Riding in Utah
Southern Utah varies a lot in elevation. So there are places you can ride in winter, spring or summer.
I personally Like Bryce Canyon area for Spring and summer rides
The Grand Staircase for Spring rides
And the San Rafael Swell area for early spring
The area is rich with history of the Butch Cassidy and Wild Bunch. The Outlaw trail.
Just North of Monument Valley in the South Eastern Corner of Utah is Blanding and Monticello Utah. The Abjo mountains, lots of indian ruins. Check out Four Corners Trails :: Index The owners live in SW Colorado and ride a lot in the 4 corners area of Utah.
Be sure you go with a professional guide because that area is beyond sparse. Carrying water is a must, this is very much a desert. I have driven through many times, going from AZ to Grand Junction, CO and each trip was different and very very starkly beautiful.
The Navajo are not the most friendly to the white man, they have very few reasons to love him. Some of the attitudes toward the Indians, I ran into while I lived in AZ were very reminiscent of the Old South back in the day. It was pretty shocking to an OK native because that's certainly not the attitude I'm used to.
This is an incredibly harsh area and uniquely beautiful. If you stay on the rez and are guests of the Dine, be respectful and generous with your tips, this is one of the poorest regions in the whole U.S.
While travelling back and forth from AZ to CO I got to be acquainted with a few folks on the Rez and found them to be very charming once the ice thawed. Love the area and I long to return when I can stay for a few days and do some serious exploring.
If you can get to Moab (about 180 miles to the north) you can do Colorado River rafting and enjoy some of the unique sights there too.
Thanks to both of you; this is very very helpful! I'm not crazy about excessive heat, so we may try for spring.
DA, thanks for the info on the cultural aspects of this visit. We knew that we would have to inquire at the reservation, but the big picture you provided is helpful.
Painted Horse, your pics and seasons' recommendations are wonderful, thanks so much!
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