Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Visit to Monument Valley: Part Three

Time now for the third and final post looking back at my recent visit to Monument Valley.

Part One, focusing on Goulding's Lodge, can be found here. Part Two, which covered the Lodge museum and a location for SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1949), is here.

This time around I'm sharing some of the beautiful scenery as seen in John Ford's films. While Goulding's Lodge is located in Arizona, these movie locations are found in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which is just over the state line in Utah. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park has a $5 entrance fee per day.

There's a dirt road which loops through the park past most of these sites. It's a bumpy road which must be driven very slowly; the complete loop takes between two to three hours. The map is laid out for drivers in a brochure given out at the park entrance.

Despite the difficulty of the road, I much preferred driving it in our own air-conditioned car to the option of the open-air tour vehicles seen throughout the valley, as those passengers appeared to be fighting the dust and wind.

One of the most famous sites in the valley is John Ford's Point...

...which can be seen in THE SEARCHERS (1956):

This is one of the monuments known as the Mittens:

And more beautiful scenery:

Those who love Westerns in general and John Ford Westerns in particular should definitely make it a point to visit Monument Valley. Two days and one night was the perfect amount of time for us to take in everything we wanted to see and do; my husband even took an early morning horseback ride through the valley.  He provided the photos of the interesting rock formations with holes seen above.

The Monument Valley area has changed little over the decades, and the scenery is pretty much exactly as Ford and Company saw and filmed it. I found it even more moving than I expected to see the valley in person and walk in the footsteps of filmmakers I admire so greatly. Monument Valley is a highly recommended experience.


Blogger Dawn Sample said...

I love Monument Valley with it's amazing sandstone buttes. I have driven through there many times. Thank you, for sharing your beautiful pictures with us.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Gorgeous. I'd love to go sometime.

3:07 AM  
Blogger Kevin Deany said...

Wonderful pictures. I really need to get there sometime. Thanks for sharing your photos with us.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you all so much for taking the time to leave your feedback! Dawn, I'm delighted you have been there too. I hope you have the chance to see it in person as well, Jacqueline and Kevin! I'm sure you'd also find it a very special experience.

Best wishes,

10:27 PM  

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