Kayenta Monument Valley Scenic Road!

Kayenta Monument Valley Scenic Road!

Plenty of scenic destinations can be found in the Navajo Nation east of the Grand Canyon National Park on U.S. Highway 160.  Highway 160 offers hundreds of miles of beautiful panoramic western landscapes that await those who prefer to take the roads less traveled in the Navajo Nation.  A previous article titled as “Highway 160 ~ Tuba City To Kayenta & Baby Rocks” describes the road that runs from near the Grand Canyon to Kayenta. Kayenta is major city in the Navajo Nation that offers all amenities and there are some good local restaurants. Kayenta is also the gateway to Monument Valley, which is one of the most majestic places on earth!

There are many roads around this world that are called scenic drives, but none can compare to picturesque views that can be seen along the Kayenta Monument Valley Scenic Road! Monument Valley has always been a native spiritual place and during the last 100 years this majestic red rock pillar landscape has been the definitive symbol of the west. A scenic drive through Monument Valley is an astonishingly beautiful experience for those who explore this region of the Navajo Nation.

Kayenta Monument Valley Scenic Road is also called U.S. Highway 163. This scenic drive starts in Kayenta and goes north to Oljato-Monument Valley near the Utah Border and continues north to Bears Ears. United States borders are meaningless in this part of the Navajo Nation, because a Monument Valley visitor will cross state lines several times while touring this place. The name Monument Valley Tribal Park is all that a visitor needs to remember, because this beautiful region is the homeland of the native people.

The views of the tall rock pillar formations in Monument Valley along this two lane highway are nothing less than amazing!  It does not matter what kind of weather is present, because each meteorological event creates a dramatic effect that accents the beauty of this sacred place. Overcast days may inspire somber reflective tones of thought, while bright sunny cobalt blue skies inspire a spiritually uplifting effect. Viewing Monument Valley never provides the same inner feeling twice, so this is why so many people make a pilgrimage to this spiritual place, time and time again.

There are just a few places to pull off the road to take the scenery in when heading north from Kayenta, till arriving at the entrance to the Monument Valley Tribal Park. North of the Tribal Park entrance on Highway 163 is where plenty of roadside scenic overlooks can be found and this area is also where the views of Monument Valley are the most dramatic. Because so many tourists stop to take a look, it is best to drive well under the speed limit when passing through.

All that I can say is the panoramic scenery is so majestic, it is easy to wish that the 30 mile stretch of Highway 163 that borders upon Monument Valley could go on forever. To be quite honest, the beauty of Monument Valley does seemingly stretch out forever because the red rock pillar formations continue well north into the Bears Ears National Monument, Mexican Hat, Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park. Ancient geological events shaped this region and eons of erosion have acted like the hands of the greatest landscape painter of all time. This is a place where the Mother Earth Spirit truly provides guidance to all, in the form of a beautifully sculpted red rock pillar landscape!                      

There are usually no waiting lines or hours spent looking for a parking place at Navajo Nation Tourism destinations and just the thought of this appeals to those that have been frustrated with dealing the overcrowded National Parks in this region.  For those who wish to experience Monument Valley for a few days, local lodging can be found in Kayenta or Goulding’s by Rock Door Mesa. There are RV parks and campgrounds in the Monument Valley area along the highway that offer a peaceful experience and great views. The most sought after lodging option is The View Hotel, which is a modern Navajo resort that overlooks Monument Valley inside the Tribal Park. During peak times of year, it is best to make reservations well ahead of time at The View Hotel, because this is such a popular resort that truly lives up to its name.     

Views of Monument Valley truly can humble the boldest of the bold and inspire greatness in the downtrodden.  This majestic region has always been a sacred place and all it takes is a little drive down the Kayenta Monument Valley Scenic Road to see why!          


Author: wildwestdestinations

I worked as a chef in remote resorts and National Parks, which provided the time to explore western travel destinations. I have a BA Degree in Culinary Management with high honors and currently I am working on a Masters Degree in Adult Education. My food and travel blog writing began as a means to generate income during college and now photo journalism has become my lifestyle.

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