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A guide to camping in Monument Valley

Overlook at Monument Valley Hiking Fashion
Overlook at Monument Valley Hiking Fashion

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is an incredible place on the Arizona-Utah border that features the infamous towering sandstone buttes and an abundance of red sand. You’ve probably seen this place in old western movies and it was even featured in Forrest Gump! 

If you ever find yourself in the area, I highly recommend you visit. In this article, I will talk about camping in Monument Valley and what to expect on your visit. 

>> Please respect nature by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

About Monument Valley

Camping in Monument Valley

Monument Valley, known by the Navajo as Tse’Bii’Ndzisgaii, is considered one of the most majestic and photographed places on earth. Located on the Arizona-Utah border, it spans 91,696 acres. Created by wind and water, the monuments are truly a sight to see at least once in your lifetime. There is something so magical and quiet about the monuments – it’s absolutely mesmerizing. 

The Navajo Parks and Recreation Department, which manages the park, shares this message with visitors: “The Navajo people have a custom that has endured. Whenever visitors come they are always treated as honored guests. They are offered shelter, warmth and nourishment so they can continue on with their journey. The same hospitality we offer to you, and we hope that you have a safe and pleasant visit to our land.”

With that message, please be sure to be respectful when you visit. As with all of your outdoor adventures, follow the Leave No Trace principles

Things to do in Monument Valley

What to do in Monument Valley

Drive Tribal Park Loop

The only part of Monument Valley you can explore without a tour is the Tribal Park Loop. It’s a 17-mile drive that takes you through the most popular sites in the valley. While a 4×4 vehicle isn’t necessary, it is a bumpy dusty ride that will require you to drive slowwww. But that’s okay because you’ll want to take in the views! 

Explore the valley by horseback

There are lots of tours you can take in Monument Valley but the one I chose was a horseback ride through the valley! I can’t remember the specific tour I took because I went up to the visitors center, saw a sign for horseback rides, and went with it. I believe it was around $80 a person and I thought it was worth it. There are a lot of other tours you can take – you can explore all your options in the visitor’s center! 

Visit Forrest Gump Point

If you’re in the area, you don’t want to miss the road that Tom Hanks ran down in Forrest Gump! Just 20 minutes from the visitor’s center, this is a very popular tourist destination. You’ll have to have a lot of patience if you want a photo and remember, this is a real road with real cars! Please be careful when taking photos and pack out your trash. When I visited, I was distracted by the amount of litter so I used my one photo op to showcase how a popular tourist destination can impact a beautiful place. 

What to do in Monument Valley
How to love the outdoors

Camping in Monument Valley

Tent in monument valley

While there is a hotel that gives you epic views of the valley, I highly recommend camping to get the full experience (plus, it’s a lot more affordable)! There are RV spots and tent spots. I’ve stayed in both and prefer the tent sites because they offer the best view!

The campsites are situated on a sandy cliffside in front of the “Mittens”. While you can’t have a campfire, there are nice bathrooms with showers and places to charge your phones. You can check the prices and reserve your campsite here

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A guide to Monument Valley
What to do and where to camp in Monument Valley

I hope this article helped you plan your camping trip to Monument Valley! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments! And since you are in the area, I highly recommend making a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park! It’s only 4 hours away and VERY worth a trip! You can read about the best hikes in Bryce Canyon here and learn where I camped when I visited here

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Meet the author

Jacey West

My mission is simple: Inspire you to get outside. I like camping, hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, and exploring National Parks. I’m passionate about sharing all the details of my adventure so you can plan some of your own!

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