One of the most iconic regions of Southern Utah is Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Monument Valley is, without question, a great place to drive through, but people seldom take the time to explore the fascinating locations nearby. This is unfortunate. We, at the Lodge at Red River Ranch, want you to make a few stops next time you head that way. We believe it will make your trip even more enjoyable.
Take the time to stop by Four Corners National Monument. While admittedly there isn’t much in the way of scenery, Four Corners is the only place you can be in four states at once, and well, the photo opportunity is worth the trip. Besides, the kids will like it.
Natural Bridges National Monument is directly north of Monument Valley. We really like Natural Bridges – mostly for the scary 1,200-foot cliff that you drive up to get there from Mexican Hat. Once at Natural Bridges, be sure to check out the visitor center and look for the Native American ruins.
Speaking of American Indian ruins, two other locations near Monument Valley offer insight into the tribes that lived in this area. Consider stopping by Hovenweep National Monument, or Edge of the Cedars State Park. Both contain excellent collections of artifacts and dwellings. Anyone interested in American history should stop by.
Near Edge of the Cedars is another state park worth your time. Goosenecks State Park offers spectacular views of the San Juan River Canyon. Goosenecks is named for the twisting “entrenched meanders,” which are a relatively rare geographical formation. It is a perfect place to eat a picnic lunch.
There are, of course, many other places to visit near Monument Valley. We hope we’ve given you some incentive to see the surrounding country the next time you’re in the area.