The most natural way to visit Monument Valley is to explore it (on your own or on a guided tour) along Valley Drive, that dirt road that allows you to skirt the legendary red monoliths, the 3 pillars that are the main landmark of the Navajo Nation, making it unique compared to all other US national parks. What if I told you that if you went into the Lower Monument Valley, you could find a beauty that is just as unique and magnificent? Yes, this beautiful natural park will reveal endless surprises to its visitors…
I’m talking about a remote region characterized by an extraordinary wealth of monoliths, pinnacles and mountain plateaus that rise above the most famous red desert in America. The Hunts Mesa plateau is the favorable vantage point, the belvedere at 6795 feet above sea level, from which you can enjoy a view of the endless horizon, on which many plateaus rest (Thunderbird Mesa, Big Chair, The Hub, Rain God Mesa), natural arches (Moccasin Arch, Vreeland Arch, Double Arch Canyon, Ruin Arch, Natural Arch) and evocative pinnacles (Totem Poles). Together they form the Lower Monument Valley, a landscape as wonderful as it is unprecedented.
How to get to Hunts Mesa?
Now comes the bad news. The area is so remote that it is not accessible for independent visits (the road is very bumpy). To enjoy this wonder you need to book a tour with a Navajo guide, and that’s not all! The guided tour will also require you to sleep on-site, camping right on top of the Mesa.
Wait a minute! If you are turning your nose up because this involves a 2-day visit, think for a second. Imagine what it would be like to camp on the most beautiful plateau of the Navajo Nation and enjoy, from this magnificent mesa, first dawn and then sunset, admiring the incredible combination of colors and shades on the most beautiful valley of the Monument Valley … are you still convinced that it’s not worth it?
Hunts Mesa Camping Tour
If the possibility to go on this tour intrigues you, let’s go into details. The Hunts Mesa Camping Tour is especially recommended for experienced and amateur photographers, but it is open to all and suitable for all ages (children must of course be accompanied by an adult). The tour takes place as follows:
- Pick up from hotels in Monument Valley or in the town of Kayenta (5 hours before sunset)
- After 2 hours by car, you will arrive at the Hunts Mesa viewpoint
- Arrival is scheduled for 2 hours before sunset, in the meantime, a local expert guide will show you around the area and point out the best spots to take pictures at sunset.
- While you are taking pictures, the guide will set up the campsite, light the fire and prepare everything you need to spend the night, including beds, camping chairs and a range of optional meals.
- In the morning you will have plenty of time to explore the area and take pictures of the sunrise. During the descent from Hunts Mesa you can visit some of the natural arches of the area, as well as several Anasazi ruins hidden in the caves and narrow maze-like canyons.
About the Tour
- Duration: Approximately 18 hours
- Tour does not include Monument Valley entrance fee ($20)
- Difficulty level: Easy
- Also open to children if accompanied
- The tour is available all year round and, at least at the moment, the price stays the same throughout the year
- Price: Around $450.00
Booking and Cancellation
- Up to 7 days before the departure of the tour you can cancel your tour reservation without paying any penalty
- 6 to 3 days before you will be held back 50%
- 2 days or less before the tour there is no refund