San Diego, CA
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
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© Christine Till
Monument Valley, straddling the border of northeastern Arizona and southeastern Utah of the Colorado Plateau, preserves some of the most striking and recognizable landscapes of sandstone buttes, mesas and spires in the entire Southwest. The area is entirely within the Navajo Indian Reservation near the small Indian town of Goulding, established in 1923 as a trading post.
The impressive sandstone formations: buttes, spires, and towers - the geological monuments that gave Monument Valley its name - are the result of centuries and millennia of erosion and uplift. Red sandstone cliffs and spires are predominantly made of Cutler Formation sandstone from the Permian period of around 160 million years ago. Volcanic action also created some of the formations in Monument Valley, such as Chiastla Butte and Agathla Peak.
Monument Valley is more than just a park or nature preserve; it is home to Navajo people who have preserved their traditions, their language, their art forms, their pastoral sheep-herding way of life, and their relation of harmony and respect with the land. Today, Monument Valley is protected as a Navajo Tribal Park. The scene of countless western movies, the valley has come to symbolize the open spaces and rugged landscape of the American West.
September 24th, 2013
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