Monument Valley Adventure

MONUMENT VALLEY:  What a majestic otherworldly landscape. Located on the Arizona-Utah state line.  When you enter this magic landscape memories of every cowboy western movie comes to mind.   The Navajo Nation maintains an experience you will never forget.  It is said it is the most photographed point on earth.  The towering sandstone structures can reach 400 to 1,00 feet.  I was completely overwhelmed so much so that it was hard to even think about capturing this magnificence on a small 8×10 canvas.  I managed to get a few snipets but will have to return for a serious work. 

Before humans stepped foot here the area was once a lowland basin.  Millions of years layers formed and rose from the pressure below the land surface miles above sea level becoming a plateau.  Each monumental form has a name like Mitten Buttes, Merrick Butte .  Totem Pole, Three Sisters.  On the way you will pass the charming Mexican Hat. 

The Navajo people were the first group to live here and are still here.  In the 1920s, a family by the name of Goulding started a trading post .  It was an important source for the local population and tourist for groceries and other supplies.  It lasted until the 1960s.  Harry Goulding found out that there was going to be a new western film so he and his wife went to Hollywood and sold Monument Valley as a perfect backdrop and the rest is history.  Everywhere you are reminded of the Old West.  It is easy to see why it is called “John Wayne” country.  John Ford made seven movies most staring John Wayne from 1939 to 1964.The cast and crew always stayed at Goulding’s Lodge. 

After driving the 17 mile valley drive we had a delicious meal at the Restaurant including green chili soup, frybread,  fish and chips.  It was Great food at a moderate price.  Unfortunately, due to Covid many places such as the visitor center were closed.  There will still a few guided tours happening. 

We camped at Goulding’s Campground.  I love the way the sites were placed right in the scenic redrock mountains.  There is also a nice motel , cottages and houses to reserve.  Monument Valley is an experience everyone should have at least once in their lifetime.  The majesty and grandeur can only be fully experienced first hand. 


  1. I also went to Maryland Institute College of Art; earned 34 credits there 1968-1969.
    Earned my MFA in my 40s and taught for 16 years at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.
    I love what you are doing: traveling and painting. Your paintings are beautiful! I am in Chincoteague, VA being eaten alive by mosquitos. Rest of the time am in the Poconos.
    I am cutrently applying for Fulbright U.S. Scholar program to go paint in Japan, “36 Views of Kyushu.”
    Cheers, Miharu Lane


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