Monument Valley is in the Navajo Nation at the border of Arizona and Utah. There is a 13 mile Valley Drive which goes down switchbacks to get to the valley, then this dirt road wanders around the monuments and other formations in the valley. You will recognize much of the scenery as it was made famous in many John Ford movies, some starring John Wayne.
We arrived around noon and parked our trailer in Goulding's Campground, across the Rt 163 highway from Monument Valley, where we stayed for 2 nights. Well, it is across the highway but it is about a 4 mile drive from the highway to the campground and another 4 mile drive from the highway to the visitor center. After seeing the visitor center, we drove around the Valley Drive. The monuments are certainly a wonder to behold.
After taking the Valley Drive, we returned to the campground and booked ourselves on the Deluxe Tour. It covers the same Valley Drive and also visits some parts of the valley that we are not permitted to drive to without a guide. This 3.5 hour tour was great as we heard much of the history of the valley and were able to see some natural arches and petroglyphs that we would not otherwise see. We took this tour the following morning.
That night, we took the shuttle to Goulding's Trading Post where we saw several movies that explained the history of the valley. The Navajo have, of course, been here for hundreds of years. The Gouldings built a trading post where they traded with the Navajo, crafts for flour, etc. Goulding got the idea to pitch the location to John Ford who then made a number of movies in the valley, greatly expanding who knew about it.
Today, movies and commercials are still made in the valley.
Goulding's Campground provides full hookups for RVs and some tent sites as well, although I wouldn't want to camp in the heat there. We booked a "small back-in site" good for 22 foot RVs. This would have been fine for an RV but not for a trailer. We fit our trailer in the site but there was no space for our Jeep. Their web site clearly said this but I didn't envision having to either squeeze our Jeep into the space between our site and the next site, or park it quite a distance away. Fortunately, we were able to fit the Jeep in when we moved the picnic table to the back of the site but just barely. There were no 50 foot pull through sites available so we stayed here but fortunately there was no one in the neighboring site, so all was fine. My advice: take the pull through site. The campground is a great setting and the facilities are good as long as you book an adequate site.
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Retirement is great. We bought a travel trailer and are exploring National Parks. (Actually, we bought one and sold it and bought a second one better suited to us. It happens...) And I have time to do some woodworking projects and things around the house. And now I have gotten interested in ham radio so there goes any free time.