Monument Valley is a Navajo Tribal Park that straddles the Utah-Arizona border. If it was not on Navajo Reservation land, it would have instantly qualified for national park status long ago, but it is such an important part of the Navajo identity and heritage that they prefer to administer the area themselves. Dozens of western movies have been made there, and some of the best-known and best-loved views and scenes of the Wild West, famous around the world from advertisements, calendars, and commercials, can be found in this area.
A view of Monument Valley,
showing the West Mitten and the East Mitten. Both are in far northern
Arizona, but the distant background is Utah.
The Swinnerton Arch
This is a rather young arch, as can be seen by the sharp angular edges inside the arch.
Very little weathering and rounding of surfaces has occurred yet. It's not hard to get inside it, even though the approach is steeper than it looks here.
A fast run and then a wild scramble on all-fours makes it a lot easier than a slow, meticulous climb.
The Spiderweb Arch
One of the prettiest arches anywhere, it is even more interesting inside than you would expect. The arch splits halfway across into a giant overhead Y shape (not visible in this picture). Notice person standing inside, for scale.
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