Monument Valley

What is a butte and what is a mesa?


A butte is an isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top.


A Mesa is an elevated area of flat land with cliff like sides.


The different between a butte and a mesa is the size of the top. A mesa has a top that is wider than its height, while a butte has a top that is narrower than its height.


Located at the Four Corners area of the Navajo Nation on the Utah-Arizona border, Monument Valley is a Navajo Tribal Park that is adorn with buttes and mesas.

The most iconic ones being the East and West Mittens. Their thumbs facing inwards saluting one another.


Other noticeable buttes include the Elephants:


Not obvious from this angle? Drive around and try again!


the Camel


The Hub – symbolizes the hub of a wagon wheel. Navajos see it as a fire place in the center of a gigantic Hogan.


Yei Bi Chei (left) – named after the Navajo healing ceremony; And Totem Pole (right) – which is technically a spire.


Monument Valley is made famous by director John Ford


who filmed several of his Western movies there, including classics such as Stagecoach and the Searchers – both featuring John Wayne.


A popular attraction among international tourists, Monument Valley can be visited via a 17-mile scenic dirt road drive – All-wheel and high ground clearing vehicle recommended.

After visiting Monument Valley, we continued our way north passing Mexican Hat


and Valley of Gods.

On approaching Moab, we encountered our first arch along US 191.


We will be stationed in Moab for the next two days, using it as a base to visit Canyonlands and Arches National Park.

19 thoughts on “Monument Valley

  1. Monument Valley is an amazing place! I had such a memorable time there and waking up at dawn at the campsite to see the breathtaking view will always hold a special place in my heart. Thanks for sharing..😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a special and magical place. Thanks for sharing great photos and telling us the difference between butte and mesa, I did not know that. My Italian mother seems to have a spiritual connection to this place, because she always wants to go there. 🙂


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