15 Best Monument Valley Tours

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Translated into the language of the Native American people who call the area home, Monument Valley means valley of the rocks.

Located on the Colorado Plateau, it is characterized by immense stretches of multicolored sandstone buttes, the tallest of which tower more than a 1,000 feet over the desert floor below.

The valley sits between the southwestern states of Arizona and Utah, within the borders of the reservation of the Navajo Nation.

In the ‘30s, it was a hotspot setting for western films, though today it’s largely the realm of Native Americans and tourists from all over the world.

1. 2 ½ Hour Monument Valley Tour with Backcountry Access

Monument Valley, ArizonaSource: Elena_Suvorova / shutterstock
Monument Valley

You’re probably thinking that a measly 2 ½ hours won’t afford much time to see the area’s breathtaking sights, but previous tour guests agree that’s just not the case.

This small-group tour is only accessible with a local Navajo guide, giving it a unique cultural aspect not found on other tours.

Attractions include the Three Sisters, John Ford Point, and Sleeping Dragon, to name just a few.

After the sightseeing portion, it’ll be time for immersion into the local culture as you visit a Navajo home, interact with the residents, and watch a fascinating demonstration of traditional rug weaving.

2. 3-Day Iconic American Natural Beauty Tour from Las Vegas

Zion National ParkSource: bjul / shutterstock
Zion National Park

The glitz and swank of the Las Vegas strip is definitely worth checking out when in the American southwest, but the region’s natural wonders tend to make Sin City pale in comparison.

This 3-day tour begins in Vegas and includes stops at many of the country’s most celebrated sites.

Zion National Park, Lake Powel, Antelope Canyon, and Monument Valley are among the tour’s highlights, and visitors tend to use words and phrases like breathtaking, awe-inspiring, and magnificent to describe the things they saw and experienced.

You’ll also learn about the area’s rich movie tradition, and about the Native American’s who have called it home for countless generations.

3. Monument Valley 3-Hour Tour

Big Hogan, Monument ValleySource: wonderlustpicstravel / shutterstock
Big Hogan, Monument Valley

Monument Valley is such a mesmerizing natural wonder that it’s best experienced in small groups.

Participants in this three-hour tour will be whisked to the valley’s gems in an African safari-style open-top vehicle, which beats a cushy air-conditioned van any day.

Stops include the Big Hogan, Sun’s Eye, Sleeping Dragon, and John Ford Point, which was named after the famous movie director from the early decades of the 20th century.

Tours include fascinating narration from an experienced guide, access to areas that aren’t open to the general public, a stop at a traditional Navajo village, and a ceremonial music performance as well.

4. 3-Day Tour of Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley & Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend, ArizonaSource: Checubus / shutterstock
Horseshoe Bend

In the history of the universe, nobody has ever described Monument Valley as lame, boring, or just so-so.

It’s really that breathtaking, and when combined with other epic natural wonders like Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, it makes for a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

The tour begins and ends in Las Vegas, lasts from Wednesday until Friday, and also includes a Jeep tour of the Navajo Reservation with stops at the red rocks of Sedona and the Valley of Fire.

Along the way, you’ll learn from your guide how the stunning landscape was formed over eons of erosion by wind and water.

5. Antelope & Grand Canyons, Zion, Bryce & Monument Valley Tour

Monument ValleySource: Victor Maschek / shutterstock
Monument Valley

The rugged landscapes of the southwest were just made to be explored by 4 x 4, and this multi-day combo tour gives guests the opportunity to do just that.

It’s a rugged 3-day excursion that includes Bryce and Zion National Parks, Monument Valley, and the Grand Canyon.

Needless to say, it’s a whirlwind tour that’s a big hit with amateur photographers and lovers of the great outdoors.

Tours are generally limited to 14 participants, giving everyone a uniquely intimate experience.

It’s also possible to upgrade to a Grand Canyon helicopter tour, and hiking and Native American cultural side trips are included as well.

6. 7-Day National Parks Small Group Tour

Grand Canyon South RimSource: Nadia Yong / shutterstock
Grand Canyon South Rim

For those who’ve got a full week to dedicate to seeing the American west’s most iconic sites, this 7-day tour is just the ticket.

You’ll camp under the stars, walk the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, hike through amazing geological formations, and probably have the time of your life in the process.

Sunrise and sunset are both magical times, so you’ll experience both in all their majesty at Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon as well.

There’s also a Jeep tour with a Navajo guide in Monument Valley.

Participants must be at least seven-years-old, but it’s not wheelchair accessible.

7. Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, and Zion National Park Tour

Monument ValleySource: Filip Fuxa / shutterstock
Monument Valley

Have three days and two nights to spare?

Interested in being wowed by some of North America’s most stunning terrain?

If so, read on, because this natural wonders combo tour of Arizona and Utah is probably a perfect fit.

Activities include visits to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, Monument Valley, and Zion National Park in Utah.

You and your travel companions will walk among Navajos, tour the desert by Jeep, and if the spirit moves you, opt for an unforgettable helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon.

A full day is spent at Monument Valley, and a guided hike is available in Zion as well.

8. 3 Hour Sunrise of Monument Valley

Monument Valley SunriseSource: corumov / shutterstock
Monument Valley Sunrise

The otherworldly structures that dot the southwest landscape are the stuff of legend, and their names are usually pretty dramatic too.

The Big Hogan, Sun’s Eye, Sleeping Dragon, and the Totem Pole are a few of the most colorful; they’re all included on this brief but jam-packed tour of Monument Valley.

You’ll experience the sunrise like never before as your guide leads you to a scenic overlook near the iconic Totem Pole.

You may just be inspired to paint a masterpiece after witnessing how the sun’s peaking rays turn the impressive natural formations into colorful monoliths from bygone eras.

9. Monument Valley 4×4 Tour

Monument Valley 4x4 TourSource: oksana.perkins / shutterstock
Monument Valley 4×4 Tour

There’s just something extra special about being led through Monument Valley by an experienced Navajo guide.

After all, the Navajos have called the area home for eons, and they know more about it than anyone.

The tour lasts about 2 ½ hours and visits most of the sites the others on the list do. But unlike some, you’ll be shuttled around in an open-air vehicle and spend time learning about Native American culture as well.

Depending on the weather conditions, you may also be whisked to areas that are only accessible when visited with a member of the Navajo Nation.

10. Hunts Mesa Overnight Campout

Hunts MesaSource: Bill45 / shutterstock
Hunts Mesa

For really outdoorsy types, there’s no better way to experience Monument Valley than by hiking and camping.

Sure, the desert is full of poisonous snakes, tarantulas, and scorpions, but thankfully, they seem to avoid campers at all costs.

This overnight camping tour of Hunts Mesa lasts about 20 hours and includes amazing scenery, ample time to explore on foot, and tales of local lore around a crackling campfire in the canyon’s fading light.

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

In short, it is – but it’s not recommended for pregnant travelers, those with back issues, or those with less than moderate levels of physical ability.

11. 1 ½ Hour Tour of Monument Valley’s Valley Loop Drive

Monument Valley Loop DriveSource: christian_b / shutterstock
Monument Valley Loop Drive

It may sound implausible, but it’s possible to take in the wonders of Monument Valley in less than two hours.

You won’t hike, bump over the terrain in an off-road vehicle, or mingle with Native Americans, but you’ll see much of what the valley has to offer from the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle.

That makes it a great choice for those with limited time, and who are traveling with young children and older family and friends.

The tour follows the Valley Loop Drive and offers multiple opportunities to stop and photograph the unforgettable things you’re seeing.

Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult.

12. 2 ½ Hour Guided Tour of Monument Valley

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal ParkSource: Stefano Borsa / shutterstock
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

If you’ve noticed a recurring theme in the aforementioned Monument Valley tours, it may be that longer isn’t always better.

That’s good news for travelers with limited time and budgets.

This 2 ½ hour tour covers nearly 30 miles of indescribably beautiful natural features, but you’ll also get access to petroglyphs from the ancient cliff-dwelling Anasazi people who seemed to up and vanish without a trace centuries ago.

The tour also covers ground inside the Navajo Tribal Park, from which arches, towering formations, and deep canyons are readily seen.

Multiple departure times are offered to accommodate travelers with varying schedules.

13. Monument Valley Sunrise Photo Tour

Monument Valley SunriseSource: IM_photo / shutterstock
Monument Valley Sunrise

Monument Valley is one of the most photographed sites in the southwest, and this 3-hour evening tour was designed with diehard shutterbugs in mind.

Guided by experienced and enthusiastic photographers, it consistently leads guests to the perfect vantage points at just the right time to capture the moment forever.

You’ll need to rise well before the sun to reach the Totem Pole on time, but according to previous guests, it’s a small price to pay.

There’s also a 3-hour sunset tour that heads out in the late afternoon, so consider doing both, with lunch and a nap in the middle.

14. Monument Valley Tour

Elephant Butte, Monument ValleySource: Stefano Borsa / shutterstock
Elephant Butte, Monument Valley

This small-group tour of Monument Valley gives guests the opportunity to tailor their experience to fit their personal interests.

The tour includes stops at the two Mitten Buttes, the Three Sisters, and Elephant Butte. For those who’d like a little cultural interaction, it’s possible to rub elbows with Native Americans, see how they live, and take in a traditional music show.

All tours are conducted in an open-air vehicle and led by an experienced and knowledgeable Navajo guide, so you’ll see and learn about things that those on other tours won’t.

Click the link below for a full list of options.

15. Basic Tour of Monument Valley

Monument ValleySource: fotomak / shutterstock
Monument Valley

Loop tours are great for those who want to begin and end their day in the same location. This 17 mile Monument Valley tour is a popular option for those with less than three hours to spare.

It hits all the major attractions for which the valley is known, and offers guests the chance to stop and photograph the sights from a number of vista points along the way.

There’s also a stop at an authentic Navajo Hogan and a rug-weaving demonstration presented by Navajo women as well.

The tour’s length leaves plenty of time in the day to hook-up with other excursions to equally impressive attractions in nearby national parks.

15 Best Monument Valley Tours:

  • 2 ½ Hour Monument Valley Tour with Backcountry Access
  • 3-Day Iconic American Natural Beauty Tour from Las Vegas
  • Monument Valley 3-Hour Tour
  • 3-Day Tour of Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley & Horseshoe Bend
  • Antelope & Grand Canyons, Zion, Bryce & Monument Valley Tour
  • 7-Day National Parks Small Group Tour
  • Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, and Zion National Park Tour
  • 3 Hour Sunrise of Monument Valley
  • Monument Valley 4x4 Tour
  • Hunts Mesa Overnight Campout
  • 1 ½ Hour Tour of Monument Valley's Valley Loop Drive
  • 2 ½ Hour Guided Tour of Monument Valley
  • Monument Valley Sunrise Photo Tour
  • Monument Valley Tour
  • Basic Tour of Monument Valley