Monument Valley Scenic Road: Kayenta to Monument Valley is a 26.1 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Kayenta, AZ that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for scenic driving and is accessible year-round.
Great drive and even better if you enter the Tribal Nation, pay your tour fee and get up close and personal with the huge monoliths in Monument Valley. We drove from Mexican Hat and were thrilled to see the same view shown in Forrest Gump... this area is the home to many a western and a bucket list experience. After our visit to the Tribal Park and lots of photo ops, we drove into Kayenta at the intersection of hwy 160 as it started to rain and ate at McDonald’s. We corralled a souvenir tumbleweed (authentic) as the winds were really blowing them around and then drove on to Tuba City. This drive is not to miss.
Rated a 5* because of the history and view. Because Monument Valley is on reservation land backpacking without a guide is forbidden. The best time of year to see Monument Valley is October, and hopefully you will see it while a monsoon rolls in. Nothing more breath taking than watching the storm and famous Arizona lightening as a back drop to an already high desert gorgeous view. I don't know if they still offer guided horseback and camping guide tours, but if they do this is the way to see it. Walking through barren sandy land can take away from the breath taking history. Go John Wayne! Last visit was in the mid 90s.
We weren't the drivers, being in a van tour, but this was great, and Monument Valley is one of my wife's favorite places. The desert is beautiful. While the variations in scenery are a little subtle, they are there, and they can be better appreciated if someone else is driving. Once at the reservation hub, you transfer to a Navajo driver. This was our second desert thrill ride! The driver, Wilbur, was very confident and familiar with the route - to the extent that I believe we were doing about 40 MPH when he stood on the breaks and stopped about six feet from the edge of John Ford's Overlook, from where John Ford directed many western scenes - notably in the movie Stagecoach. Wilbur also took us to one of his family's hogans before we enjoyed a lunch on the desert floor. This should not be missed!