San Diego, CA
Monument Valley - Unusual Landscape
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© Christine Till
Almost nothing about Monument Valley fits easy categories, starting with its location within the 26,000-square-mile Navajo reservation. The park entrance is in Utah, but the most familiar rock formations are in Arizona. The site is not a national park, like nearby Canyonlands, in Utah, and the Grand Canyon, in Arizona, but one of six Navajo-owned tribal parks. What's more, the valley floor is still inhabited by Navajo - 30 to 100 people, depending on the season, who live in houses without running water or electricity.
The valley's isolation, in one of the driest and most sparsely populated corners of the American Southwest, helped protect it from the outside world. There is no evidence that 17th- or 18th-century Spanish explorers ever found it, although they roamed the area and came in frequent conflict with the Navajo, who called themselves Diné, or "The People."
Much of Monument Valley can only ber seen on tours conducted by official Navajo guides. This policy protects the traditonal land-use patterns of Navajo families who have lived in the valley and surrounding areas for generations, and it guarantees a richer and more complete experience to visitors from around the world - unusual views at the best times of day, stories and legends of the Navajo people, ancient ruins, and an insider's view of the most spectacular landscape in the Navajo Nation.
October 17th, 2013
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