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Monument Valley is located in the south of Utah and north of Arizona and once approaching it, you will instantly recognize it from many movies, commercials and other things you saw somewhere at least. The landscape surrouding it is, unlike much of southern Utah or northern Arizona actually, rather uninspiring, even a bit drab. It's a rather flat nondescript landscape, but turn around the corner and you suddenly in a totally different environment of rocks, walls and spires towering about the dry desert.
Admiring Monument Valley from the main road is open all times of course, but you will not regret going the 17-mile-long dirt road through Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Here you'll have awesome views over the most famous formations. They are, admittedly, also visible from the main road, so if you are not comfortable with a dusty, sometimes bumpy, ride, just go along US 163.
The park is open 6am to 8:30pm from May to September, and 8am to 4:30pm from October to April.
The cost of the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is $5 (children free). The entrance is at the visitor center, about 4 miles from the main road (US 163) at the Goulding Junction.
Basically, getting there is best done in your own car. Of course, there are tours you can take but it's totally not necessary and rather expensive as well.
The only tour that is worth the money is to out on foot and take a Navajo-led tour for about $40. There is also the option to go by horse. The only hike you can take by yourself is the Wildcat Trail, a 3.2-mile-long loop trail, starting about 0.5 mile north of the visitor center.
The Goulding's Lodge (see below) has the Stagecoach Dinig Room, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (mains $10-25).
If you are just visiting by driving through Monument Valley or doing the 17-mile-long dirt road, it's not necessary to stay in the immediate surroudings. You can just do it as a daytrip from towns further away or, more likely, as part of a day on the road between two places. The main towns in the direct vicinity are Mexican Hat (Utah) and Kayenta (Arizona).
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