Monument Valley

What is a butte and what is a mesa?

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

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

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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.

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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.

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Other noticeable buttes include the Elephants:

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

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the Camel

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

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

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Monument Valley is made famous by director John Ford

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

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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

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and Valley of Gods.

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

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

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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. 🙂

    Like

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