Visitors in Monument Valley for only a few hours should begin their time with a trip to the Monument Valley Visitor Center inside the Tribal Park. Any permits can be obtained there, and current conditions and information is available.

Next, visitors can:

  • Auto-tour Valley Drive, a 17-mile dirt road (2WD capable) which begins at the visitor center and runs along the cliffs and mesas.

    • It offers great views of Totem Pole, the skinny spire that towers 450 ft off the ground.

    • There are 11 stops along the drive, and it typically takes about 2 hours to complete the loop.

  • Walk along the Wildcat Trail, the only official trail in the park, that can be accessed without a guide.

    • It is a 3.2-mile fairly flat loop that will take hikers 1 of 2 hours. It circles the west Mitten Butte and offers excellent views of the highly photographed Mittens and Merrick Buttes.

  • Visitors wishing to hike, may hire a guide to take them on more paths, jeep rides, etc.

  • Visitors may also spend time identifying the many named buttes and formations, as well as looking for wildlife.

Full Day Itinerary

Due to the Tribal Park only having one road/scenic drive and one official hiking trail, visitors wanting to spend significant time exploring the valley will have to purchase a permit to explore out of the borders of the park. There are some arches, cliff dwellings, and rock art to be seen, but visitors will have to tour with guides, or know the area beforehand to hike directly to them.

Visitors can:

  • Stop by the Monument Valley Visitor Center, obtain any information or permits needed.

  • Drive the 17-mile Valley Drive loop, with 11 observation stops

  • Identify each of the named monuments in the valley, using a brochure:

    • East and West Mittens

    • Merrick Butte and Mitchell Mesa

    • Elephant Butte

    • The Three Sisters

    • Camel Butte

    • The Hub

    • Rain God Mesa

    • Bird Spring and Sand Springs

    • Totem Pole

    • The Yei Bi Chei

    • Artist’s Point

    • Spearhead Mesa

    • North Window

    • The Thumb

  • Hike the only official trail, Wildcat trail

    • It is a 3.2-mile fairly flat loop that will take hikers 1 of 2 hours. It circles the west Mitten Butte and offers excellent views of the highly photographed Mittens and Merrick Buttes.

  • Head toward the San Juan River area of the park, popular for hiking with permits, and explore the vast space and beautiful scenery.

Two Day Itinerary

Visitors may complete the full day itinerary, and though there is plenty to see and do for two full days in Monument Valley, it is recommended that it be done with a hired guide. The full day itinerary lists basically all visitors can do on their own, without a guide. Otherwise, visitors can explore more on their own outside the park, visit the open air market near the intersection with US 163, or head towards the Four Corners Monument area, or other nearby attractions.

Backcountry Itinerary

Backcountry hiking must be done with permit, outside the borders of the park, or with a hired guide.