San Diego, CA
Magnificent Monument Valley
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© Christine Till
Monument Valley is one of the most iconic and enduring landmarks of the American "Wild West." Its isolated red mesas, buttes and sprawling, sandy desert has been photographed and filmed countless times.
Crimson mesas and surreal sandstone towers rise hundreds of feet into the air, some as tall as 1,000 feet. The dramatic natural and rich red hues dominate the entire region that spans the border between Arizona and Utah. Both the beauty and the sheer size of the valley provide majestic scenery that overwhelms the senses as the play of sunlight and shadows holds a person spellbound. Monument Valley Tribal Park is not as much a valley as a wide flat plateau, interrupted by crumbling formations that are the last remnants of the sandstone layers that once covered the entire region.
This image (looking south) is what one sees approaching Monument Valley from the north on Highway 163 in Utah after crossing the San Juan River (marking the northern border of the Navajo Reservation.)
The three formations are
- Left: "Castle Butte" (with other named formations immediately adjacent)
- The twin spires in the middle are "The King on his Throne"
- and the large formation on the right is "Brigham's Tomb" (also known as "Saddleback Butte") which marks "Monument Pass", the northern entrance to Monument Valley.
This gallery contains other images of these formations from different vantage points which cause them to look very different.
September 22nd, 2013
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