Located in the Navajo tribal park, Monument Valley is a hidden gem that John Wayne called “Gods Treasure”. This is the place where time stands still, where you will enjoy a first hand look at the most tremendous natural structures created by erosion.
No matter who you are and where you come from, you should feel the harmony and peace of this site (except if you’re in a crowd of tourists…).
The Colorado Plateau started to develop about 65 million years ago after the collision of the Pacific and North-American tectonic plates. The changes occurred slowly with time: endless erosion by water, wind and ice over million years chiseled rock formations into the unique shapes of Monument Valley. A natural masterpiece!
We took our time to enjoy the site, hiked for 2 hours around the West Mitten Butte and then took the Valley drive – a 17 miles unpaved dirt road weaving between the Monuments.
Shapes of the monuments depend on their erosion stage:
- Mesas – is a rock formation that looks like a table. A mesa is usually wide, stable and the first stage of erosion.
- Buttes – is a rock formation that is smaller and the second stage of erosion from a mesa.
- Spires – the final stage of erosion from a butte and basically a rock formation that becomes narrow and free standing. Once eroded by wind and water, only the bottom organ rock that holds up the sandstone will remain.
We had the chance to have the view and the park for ourselves (it’s definitely an advantage to visit it in winter, as tourists have abandoned the site) and we had the filling to be super lucky, fulfilled by such an amazing experience…