Hey Tourists! Probably not looking for the worst way to visit Monument Valley, right? Well, you can’t leave Arizona or Utah and not visit Monument Valley! (Or so we’ve been told). In retrospect, it wasn’t worth the effort to drive out of the way and visit… as we’re finding is more and more the case with places you’re “supposed” to go.
If you are passing through it’s beautiful to see of course but hopefully our story below will help convince you it’s probably not worth an overnight stay. It served as the final straw for us doing things we feel we were obligated to do instead of visiting places that we knew would be great. (And also making we do enough research before we run out of internet and not know where to go!)
Monument Valley Nightmare #1
Monument Valley started off poorly when we attempted to stay at The View Campground. Upon arrival, The View was a mess- super busy, understaffed, and poorly organized. The first time we’ve experienced a 20 minute wait just so we could pull into a RV parking spot. After we were already settled we found out they had a no pets policy- something that was neither on their website or confirmation email.
Luckily, one of the perks of being in a RV is that if you don’t like your neighborhood- it’s super easy to move to a new one!
Escaping Monument Valley’s “The View Campground”
Changing our plan up meant that would also be trying to cram in our photo sesh at the end of the night instead of the next day- which turned out to be another loss! We just made it to the North side of the valley into the iconic location and view just as the sun was setting.
Monument Valley was something we had been looking forward to for the entire trip. Luckily, it’s one of the things we walked away from feeling underwhelmed even if we had a 10/10 experience.
Avoid our mistakes
If Monument Valley is on your bucket list, here’s a few thoughts to make the most out of your experience:
- Set aside plenty of time for “The Picture”. The location you need to take the “endless road” photo is swarming with people taking the other photo. To get the photo right you’ll need to spend some time waiting for your turn as the whole group waits for any traffic to get off the road.
- “The Picture” is located on the North side of Monument Valley looking South.
- There is no nearby BLM for camping- you’ll need to stay at one of the nearby campgrounds.
- Super Pro Tip: Don’t get hit by any cars when you’re in the middle of the road getting your picture taken.
Of course Earth continues to wow us and the rock formations are absolutely stunning. Sometimes we get a bit carried away in frustration with how natural wonders get turned in to a tourist extravaganza. This location was extra frustrating because it was a mix of a bad tourist experience coupled with not getting to see what we wanted.
We arrived in Monument Valley after a great trip to The Grand Canyon and Lake Powell.
Isn’t your name Allison? Yes. My maiden name is Finney. Most people call me by a nickname. You can call me Fin.
FAVORITE PLACES: Dubai, Argentina, Santorini and Croatia.
FAVORITE TRAVEL MEMORY: Kids in rural Philippines jumping and shouting HELLO whenever they saw two awkwardly tall white people trying to keep up with them on a scooter.