Touring Iconic Monument Valley

Deep Within Monument Valley

Deep Within Monument Valley

We’ve delighted in exceptionally warm and sunny weather these past five to six weeks here in Colorado. And the colors have been glorious. A cold front blew in over the weekend, however, and now most of the trees are bare. It’s been raining a lot these past twenty-four hours and although the peaks are capped in white, our mountain landscapes appear ready for a big snowstorm. Let’s hope the fluffy white stuff starts piling up from here on out and that we have a great ski season in Telluride and the rest of Colorado.

Until that happens though, many Coloradans will be heading to the desert; it’s not far for most of us and it’s a great way to extend summer. Plus, the crowds of tourists have dispersed, which makes experiencing these wondrous places of nature more enjoyable. I’ve taken some of my best trips to Utah, Arizona and New Mexico during the fall and spring and I’m sure I’ll hit the road to one of my favorite Southwestern destinations within the next few weeks as well.

Monument Valley Is Calling Me

Monument Valley Is Calling Me

Touring Monument Valley with Goulding's

Touring Monument Valley with Goulding’s

Less than a four-hour drive from southwest Colorado, Monument Valley, one of America’s most spectacular sites, is one of my top choices. Situated both in Arizona and Utah, the panoply of sun-baked reds, russets, ochres and golds of the monuments appears even more magical beneath the burnished glow of autumn. In Touring the Southwest with My Parents, you can read about a trip I took to this part of the West with my parents during fall a while back. My parents loved it although I think they might have thought I was a little crazy with all my oohing and aahing. But at least I didn’t let my commentaries interfere with the solitude one feels at such an awe-inspiring place.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

When you go to Monument Valley, you must take a tour. I didn’t do this with my parents, although I did take one with my Mom on a previous fall trip. Goulding’s Lodge, a veritable bastion of history and the first establishment to set up in Monument Valley–originally as a trading post–offers excursions that lead you deep into Monument Valley Tribal Park. Their tours, conducted by local Navajos, offer an insider’s look at life in the area as well. A geologist’s dream, with the help of the guides, you can take in stunning panoramas deep within the park where movie greats such as John Ford filmed their celebrated westerns. You learn about the creation of the amazing rock formations that make up this area known as “The Land of Long Shadows” as well as hear anecdotes about Navajo life and filming for movies, TV and commercials, all of which is still going on today.

My mom and I had quite the adventure when we went because a windstorm came up, which added greatly to the dramatic effect of the scenery. Fortunately the tour vehicles come equipped with large, transparent window-like sheets of plastic that prevented us from feeling the brunt of the blowing sand. It was all very exciting and a happening that made us feel as though we were in a movie ourselves.

Navajo Woman

Navajo Woman

Next time I’d like to go back for a hiking tour. You can choose from a variety of outings, including one that takes place beneath the light of a full moon. Either way, it’s really all about getting out and soaking up the wonder of the Valley. It’s also fantastic to look at the monuments up close. As much as it’s lovely to contemplate them from your hotel room or the Stagecoach Dining Room, the authentic Navajo/Southwestern restaurant at Goulding’s, it’s even more fun to take them in on an adventure.

See You Next Time Goulding's

See You Next Time Goulding’s

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    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Maribeth Clemente. This blog sometimes accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, Web sites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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