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Monument Valley

April 9, 2010

We’re planning a summer trip and one of our stops will be a return to Monument Valley.

Growing up in Northern Arizona this remarkable area was known to me but I didn’t have an appreciation for its unique beauty until years later.

I’ll never forget, while on a driving vacation years ago, leaving Mexican Hat heading Southwest on 163.  The giant rock formations grew larger and larger in the windshield and against the back drop of the desert floor were truly monumental.  This picture is what it looks like.

Many first became aware of this amazing place as a result of John Ford and John Wayne.  In 1938 they teamed up to make “Stagecoach.”  Since then, Monument Valley has been the setting for thousands of photographs and many films.

The valley consists of sandstone formations – geological monuments, which is how the area got its name.  If you studied geology you will remember that these formations are the result of erosion and uplift.

Quoting a geological source  “Red sandstone cliffs and spires are predominantly made of Cutler Formation sandstone from the Permian period of around 160 million years ago. Volcanic action also created some of the formations in Monument Valley, such as Chiastla Butte and Agathla Peak.”

Today, Monument Valley is protected as a Navajo Tribal Park and anyone can drive within  the designated areas and have a great day.  There are tours as well if you really want to explore.

We’re going back this summer armed with a new camera and hoping to get that one photo, like this one.

  1. Leslie Stone permalink

    That second photo is BEAUTIFUL! What kind of camera did you get?

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