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Visit Monument Valley

On the Arizona/Utah border in the northeastern part of the state, this stark landscape is what most of us imagine the western U.S. to look like; grand mesas, buttes, canyons and needlelike formations rising into the sky. Monument Valley has been a notable backdrop for movies since director John Ford made Stagecoach there in 1938, and it continues to appear in television today. The park is on the Navajo Reservation and is operated by the tribe. A campground is located in the park, and hotels are available right outside, as well as in the nearby towns of Kayenta, Arizona, and Mexican Hat, Utah.

Most of the valley’s dramatic views can be seen on a 17-mi/27-km self-guided scenic drive. Be prepared for a bumpy, dusty trip. There are also plenty of guided truck tours that leave from the visitors center. Some of these tours will take you to sights that are off-limits to non-tour vehicles, including Navajo hogans (log-and-mud houses) and cliff dwellings.

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