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Old 07-24-2014, 11:05 AM   #1
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Monument Valley - Worthwhile Visit?

We are leaving for our western trip the day after Labor Day and will be seeing Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Bryce Canyon, Zion and the Grand Canyon. Wehave made our reservations and plan to return to NC via I 40 seeing some of old Rt 66 as well as Sante Fe NM

I really liked the scenery in the old John Ford westerns and would like to see Monument Valley but it is a little out of the way. If we went we would stay at Gouldings, dry camp one day and take full svc the second day in order to leave the dog in a/c and take a day trip into the valley. Is the day trip offered thru Gouldings worth while? I have no idea of its cost but if the scenery is breath taking it will be worth it.

Has anyone done a day trip like this?
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:19 AM   #2
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I did the drive yourself tour years ago. On reflection I would take the tour. And take cash to buy the interesting things available from the locals. Its like a trip back in history.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:38 AM   #3
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We did the drive yourself tour many years ago. The locals had a steep hill at the entrance/exit point that was fine dirt, and the car ahead of us couldn't get up it to get out. He didn't have the nerve to get a good running start. The locals charged him $60- to tow him to the top. (This was 25 years ago, so $60- was pretty steep. That sells more Jeep tours for them.) He moved out of the way while waiting for the tow, and we got to the top in our minivan, but not easily. That aside, it is truly beautiful, and worth the trouble and the price. But at the time, all people that were not part of the tribe had to stay on the road, and no hiking was permitted. However, knowing graffiti mongers... I don't really blame them. This does allow you to see a lot of the valley, but a good hiking trail or two would make it so much better. Maybe they have those, now... Please report back if you visit. We're interested in going back... and will in a couple of years when I retire.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:53 AM   #4
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I have done the Tour and driven the self tour a couple of times. Always had the Jeep so getting up the dirt hills was not an issue.
Definitely worth the side trip. Stay at Gouldings RV park and get the tour through them and they will pick you up at the RV park. I would call now to see if they will be doing tours at that time of year.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:58 PM   #5
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Visited Monument Valley three years ago. It was one of the highlights of our trip thru the South West. We did the self drive in a Mercedes SUV. No problem at all. Even saw some people doing the self drive in a compact car.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:06 AM   #6
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Don't forget to get a picture of the sign where Forest Gump turned around:
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:31 PM   #7
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Nearby off US160 you can find Navajo National Monument. They have two campgrounds; one water/elec and one overflow. We thought the first one was kind of cramped so we explored the overflow dry camp. The site we selected backed right up to open pinon pine mesa country. It was breathtaking. We took a ranger guided hike to the nearest cliff dwelling which was well worth our time. This was about 30 years ago.

We would love to take the Monument Valley tour someday and also the tour in the valley of Canyon de Chelly.

If you would add a description of your rv to your signature it would help others to give the most appropriate travel and service or maintenance suggestions.

Safe travels.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:23 PM   #8
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if you stay in monument valley be sure to visit valley of the gods just down the road and just as impressive.
time permitting bluff,ut mulkey dugway,gooseneck park and mexican hat are all close by and worth the time
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaverfever View Post
if you stay in monument valley be sure to visit valley of the gods just down the road and just as impressive.
time permitting bluff,ut mulkey dugway,gooseneck park and mexican hat are all close by and worth the time
Hi I was just going to suggest the Valley of the Gods.. It's just out of Mexican Hat a bit and a spectacular drive.. It's a state monument I believe.. 2nds on Canyon de Chelly as well.. It's desolate country but starkly beautiful.. We stayed 2 days at Goulding's and it was OK and secure.. Lots of Indian dog strays around so fence is a good idea..
Enjoy the area.. It is a gift to us all..
Ron
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:40 PM   #10
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Don't laugh...but...I'd recommend a stop at the Burger King in Kayenta.

They've got a great display about the Navajo Code Talkers.

Take care,
Stu
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:04 PM   #11
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This is from the hotel...it gets better down in the valley. You decide...
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:05 PM   #12
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OH, and at Gouldings they have John Wayne movies at night.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:13 PM   #13
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I also stayed at Gouldings and throughly enjoyed Monument Valley. We took their jeep tour , it was great. One caution that I would advise is to have an EMS ( electrical management system ). It was 100 degrees when I was there and frequently was shut down by my EMS as the amps dropped below 104. Also , there was a wind storm and I never got the red sand completely out of the window tracks. Still I wouldn't have traded the experience for anything.
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:25 PM   #14
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We stayed at Gouldings last year and really liked it. I did the "self-tour" in a GMC 2500 with very stiff suspension and would not do that again. My suggestion is that using their tour service is well worth the money. Also, there is a VERY COOL and quite large natural stone arch located about 75 yards right behind the RV park. Most people don't know about it but ask on check in about how to get there. Also went to Goosneck State Park which was well worth the trip also. Happy travels!
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