10 Photos to inspire you to visit Monument Valley

10 Photos to inspire you to visit Monument Valley

This is America, baby!

Monument Valley is without doubts one of the most iconic landscapes of the American West. And when I say iconic, I mean almost cliché. Imagine a desert dominated by massive buttes and other formations on an unprecedented scale. Or don’t imagine anything and just scroll down to the photos! 🙂

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Monument Valley, UT / AZ, has also appeared in many commercials and several major movies. Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, The Lone Ranger, Transformers, Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, etc.

Yes, even Fantastic Beasts squeezed a piece of this iconic scenery in. And because this is a blog mostly about travel and photography, I won’t even open that magical suitcase full of facepalming and bitter disappointment about the movie.

newt scamander from the fantastic beasts and where to find them.

Where to stay in Monument Valley

Usually, I would include many travel tips but this article is a bit different. I will only add one tip – don’t just drive through the Monument Valley, stay at least for a night! Hotels are quite scarce in the area, so book well in advance!

Booking.com

Goulding’s Lodge is a hotel just outside the park. If you want to experience the most exquisite location, get a night in The View Hotel inside the Tribal Park.



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The Tribal Park Loop

The 17-mile long scenic drive is the obvious and main attraction in Monument Valley. You can drive it on your own. A 4WD car is not necessary but I would highly recommend a (very) high-clearance vehicle if you don’t want to hurt your four-wheel friend. At some points, the road reminded me of those in Etosha, Namibia.

However, pretty much any hotel in the area will offer you a Monument Valley tour with an authorized Navajo guide. These tours are great because they’ll bring you also to places inside the Monument Valley Tribal Park where you wouldn’t be allowed otherwise! It is a comfortable option when you only want to care about experiencing the area, your compositions and the sharpness of your images.

Photos of the Monument Valley

Monument Valley, Three buttes - this is without doubt the most classic image of the US West.
This is the image that comes first to my mind when you say “America’s West”. Taken literally at the entrance of The View Hotel inside the tribal park. This edit is based on my Mediterranean Vibe preset.
Goulding's Lodge offers a couple of shorter hikes, one of them leading to this viewpoint. I created this image by combining ca. 25 images to get those pretty light trails.
Goulding’s Lodge offers a couple of shorter hikes, one of them leading to this viewpoint. I created this image by combining ca. 25 images to get those pretty light trails.
The Butte and some driftwood. I mean - how can it get even more western-ey? This black and white image is also available as a print.
This awesome butte plus some driftwood used for framing. I mean – how can it get even more western-ey? This black and white image is also available as a print. Thank you for your support!
The Totem Pole in Monument Valley – one of the formations which look like they are about to fall down any minute now. This edit is based on my Mediterranean Vibe preset.
This sunrise from the Goulding's Lodge was UNREAL! This image is pretty much straight out of the camera. It is available as a huuuuuuuge panorama in my print shop. Thank you for supporting my work!
This sunrise from the Goulding’s Lodge was UNREAL! Those colours? Pretty much straight out of the camera! This photo is also available as a huuuuuuuge panorama in my print shop. Thank you for supporting my work!
In this image of Monument Valley, I wanted to capture the vastness of the area. Simply incredible!
See those little white spots on the right? These are caravans… In this image of Monument Valley, I wanted to capture the vastness of the area. Simply incredible!
Legendary John Ford Point. For a fee, you can even ride / sit on the horse :)
Legendary John Ford Point. For a fee, you can even ride / sit on the horse 🙂
Even in my wildest West dreams, I didn't imagine the sunrise in Monument Valley to go this bonkers.
Even in my wildest West dreams, I didn’t imagine the sunrise in Monument Valley to go this bonkers!
Some natural framing on the guided drive through the Tribal Park, Monument Valley, Utah / Arizona, USA
Some natural framing on the guided drive through the Tribal Park. This edit is based on my Mediterranean Vibe preset.
Ear of the wind, one of many beautiful arches in the Monument Valley Park.
Ear of the wind, one of many beautiful arches in the Monument Valley Park. This image is available as print in my print shop. Thank you for supporting my work!

This is it, folks! Did you visit Monument Valley? Did you drive on your own or go on a tour? What was your experience? Let me know!

The Preset Used

I mentioned my Mediterranean Vibe preset for Lightroom which I used as a starting point for many of the Monument Valley photos. It is a warm preset that simplifies the colour palette and shifts colours towards teal and orange. It restores details in shadow areas and brightens up the scene. Med Vibe goes very well with summer vacation images and some cityscapes:

Mediterranean Vibe - Lightroom Preset by Dalibro

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Amazing Pictures – great Work!

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