Daniel Tours America (c)DanielClarke.com Daniel Tours America - http://America.DanielClarke.com
My Blog My Photos My Diary My Movies My Map Message Board
Daniel Tours America
Mitten mesa, Monument Valley TP, Utah
13th May 2008
Monument Valley

Monument valley is a tribal park on the Navajo Nation reservation.  It's basically a series of beautiful mesas, buttes, and monoliths, all within a few acres.  They're all so different it's as if a giant had collected unual rocks and placed them in this garden:  they're quite a mismatched collection. 

I was mainly interested in seeing the Mitten mesas, the two most famous rocks that together look like a pair of mittens.  I did not know their name, but knew of their existence due to their being on the front cover of my USA road atlas.  As soon as I saw the cover, I knew I had to go there.  The rest of the park was of little interest to me, to be honest.  I've seen plenty of rocks recently.

My drive to Monument Valley was punctuated with some stops near Lake Powell, once at a panorama point and the second at the 700+ (200m) foot Glen Canyon dam in Page.  I was almost strip searched on the way into the visitor centre; I guess their security has to be tight because one terrorist could destory the entire valley below, Ruhr-style.

I drove from Zion to Monument Valley, which saw me crossing state borders and time zones thrice.  The park is fairly lowly, with shacks rather than outposts, and 17 miles of unpaved roads.  The latter were particularly problematic for me in a sedan/saloon car, not because I or it could not handle the bumps, rather becuase I spent my energy concentrating on the best route through the road rather than admiring the scenery.  My car is covered in red dust and mud.

In the last afternoon I headed through the Painted Desert to Grand Canyon, putting me in the car for around 11 hours that day.  By the time I arrived I had that strange combination of being high yet exhausted from the concentration.  I camped in the park, not quite on snow but adjacent to snow patches.  I hung out with a brother-sister couple I met, they very kindly fed me and then we chatted by the campfire.

Goodness it was cold last night: I measure the temperature by the time at which I first awake from the cold.  A normal night is 4am, a cold night is 2am, last night was 1am.  Brrrr.



Next: Grand Canyon, top to bottom to top: the hike of a lifetime
Previous: Zion national park

Diary Photos

Mitten mesa, Monument Valley TP, Utah

Checkerboard mesa, Zion, Utah

Lake Powel, Utah

Glen Canyon dam, Page, AZ

Monuments in Monument Valley TP, Utah

Navajo wild horses on road, Navajo Nation, AZ

The Mittens, Monument Valley TP, Utah

Dan at the MIttens, Monument Valley TP, Utah

Atlas cover showing Mittens, Monument Valley TP, Utah

The Castle mesa, Monument Valley TP, Utah

The Totem Pole, Monument Valley TP, Utah

Mesas, Monument Valley TP, Utah

485 Words | This page has been read 24 timesView Printable Version