Sunday, April 15, 2007

Utah's Monument Valley

Here we are in southeastern Utah at Goose Necks State Park, just north of Mexican Hat, Utah. What a find! This park is merely a level area next to a 1,000 foot deep canyon where people come to gaze for a while at this etching of nature. We are so fortunate to be spending a few days instead of a few moments at the edge of this beautiful view.

Have you ever heard of an entrenched meander? This is what happens when a river that winds its way across a plateau for thousands
of years becomes entrenched due to the uplifting of the plateau by forces beneath the earth and the erosion of the water. As the San Juan River meandered across the Colorado Plateau it became this 1,000 foot deep canyon and continues to erode its way each day.

This photo is the view from the front window of our rig of this entrenched meander. It's spectacular, free and private at night so far!

The San Juan River feeds into the Colorado River in western Utah. We saw some rafters floating the river as we drove through Mexican Hat, about 20 miles southeast of us, and then saw them again slowly drifting down our section of the river the next day. Would have been quite a sight from down there at their vantage point as well.

We came up this highway to see Monument Valley, the area famous for the buttes, mesas and sandstone formations appearing in many old Western movies such as "How the West Was Won" and even in a newer movie, "Back to the Future III." It was another of those "Wow" situations as we drove north on Highway 163 and began seeing these "monuments" that seem to be sculpted at intervals in the landscape.

Monument Valley is situated on a Navajo Indian Reservation and the Tribal Park is open to visitors. We took the 17 mile Valley Loop in our Jeep, soaking up the many shapes and colors of the various formations.

Camel Butte was a favorite. Can you see the big camel in the photo? Some of the formations looked like sculptures, as though an artist had sliced off or scooped out hunks of clay.

It's one of those places where you keep seeing one photo op after another. If you would like to see more, click on the Utah 2007 photo link in the right column. There are even two short video clips, one of the panoramic scene at our site and one of the view from the visitor's center at Monument Valley.

We will be staying here a few days to take advantage of the surroundings. Our best to everyone who may be going through the bad weather we've been hearing about in the midwest and east. There are high winds here today, around 40 mph, but we're hanging on.


  1. Monument Valley looks pretty breathtaking in a picture, is it more so in person? One of these days, we'll be able to see it, too. I think the whole state of Utah is one big photo op, no matter where you are!

    Hugs, Sharon

  2. WOW! I love the pictures you guys are taking!! I miss you guys so much. Have fun

  3. Great Pics! We also enjoyed that area in 2005 and 2006. Its one of our favorite parts of this great land we live in. Thanks for sharing.
    George and Diana

  4. I am Marilyn Schuster's daughter Karen.

    My husband and I talk about the day when we can do this. It will be a few years yet; but I can live my dream thru you right now.

    What a blessing that you can take this adventure.

    Enjoy yourselves and I will visit often.

    Karen Westerfield


Hi: Thanks for your thoughts.