Why take a tour of Monument or Mystery Valley?

2013-02-15Sandstone Tours

A view of the Mittens in Monument ValleyThe Monument Valley Tribal park is a vast area covering over 91 thousand acres of scenery and numerous beautiful sites hidden in nooks and cranny's througout.  The tourism industry in Monument Valley  provides you many possible ways of experiencing the beauty of area.  When you visit, you can choose from many options to explore the Valley.  There is a 17 mile self-drive route, hiking tours, horse tours, and guided 4x4 tours.  People who are visiting Monument Valley often ask what the best way to experience the scenic beauty of the area.  This article is intended to describe some pros and cons and also offer some insight as to why we always recommend taking a tour with Sandstone Tours to get the best overall experience.  

A hiking tour is a good option for people who want specifically to hike and not drive through any of the area.  There are a couple of companies who lead guided group hiking tours in several popular areas of the Valley.  You do get to see some beautiful areas and experience trekking through parts of the valley without having to board and unboard a vehicle.  Given the size of Monument Valley and the tribal park, hiking tours will isolate you to a very small portion of the valley.  If this is your first visit to Monument Valley and you want to see all of the sites, then a guided 4x4 tour is your only option to trek through the entire valley and all of the restricted areas that are closed to the public.  A hiking tour is an especially good choice for people who have already seen all the sites and really want to experience being in the valley without a vehicle.  Unfortunately, Sandstone Tours does not currently provide hiking tours, but there are a couple of other options that can be found on the internet.  A word of caution when taking these tours in the deep winter or summer months is that the temperatures can be extreme.  It is especially important that you dress for the season, and stay hydrated in the hot temperatures of summer.

Horse tours are yet another option for a tour of Monument Valley, and there are several companies providing guided horse tours in certain areas of the valley.  The horse tour is good for those who love horses and are not afraid to ride them.  It is always best to have some horse riding experience before taking one of these tours as the terrain is anything but smooth and flat.  The horse tours also lack the ability to get you to all of the sites in the area, so if you were to choose a horse tour you would really only get to see a small portion of what Monument Valley has to offer.  Sandstone Tours also does not provide horse tours, but there are more than a couple other options that can be found by googling for a horse tour of the area.  

The occasionally very bad self-drive road

The self-drive route is one of the most popular options as it is also the most inexpensive.  The self-drive route is a 17 mile loop that takes you through the famous "Mittens" formations and also through various other towering sandstone formations.  The self-drive route is accessible directly from main entrance to the park and the only fee is the park entrance fee which is charged per vehicle.  Many visitors drive the self-drive loop and leave not knowing that the loop represents a very small portion of the sites in the area.  There are several downsides to the self-drive route that make the guided 4x4 tours a much better option.  The road on the self-drive route is dirt road that can be very rocky and littered with potholes that can be extremely rough on vehicles.  It is not uncommon to pass several disabled vehicles in a single day due to the wear and tear that the road can cause.  You will not be able to see countless arches, spires, ruins, sand dunes, buttes, and mesas, that are only accessible to visitors via a guided tour.

A view of a stop on a Tour of Monument Valley with Sandstone ToursSandstone Tours thrives on the fact that the best way to experience the valley is on one of our guided tours.  We will take you on a tour in a comformable open-air 4x4 vehicle (enclosed suburbans available for colder months), with a knowledgable Navajo tour guide who is local to the area and gives you the personal experience other tour companies just can not match.  We offer a range of tours, and we can take you to any of the restricted areas of the tribal park, in a tour vehicle where you are not crammed in a group of 50 or more people.  A tour reserved online rarely results in a full vehicle, and you get the opportunity to talk with the tour guide and ask questions that you just don't get with a lot of other tour companies.  We can take you to sites anywhere in Monument and Mystery Valley  and amazing natural formations with names like "Ear of the Wind", "Moccassin Arch", "Eye of the Sun", "Totem Pole" and many, many more.  Taking a guided tour is the only way you can see many of the sites in the valley and Sandstone Tours offers the comfortable and personal experience to make it an unforgettable memory.  We offer tours that range from 1.5 to 6 hours, sunrise and sunset tours,  and service that places you and your visit to Monument Valley as our highest priority.  For a look at our prices and available tours go here or make a reservation online in minutes with Sandstone Tours.