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Southwest Road Trip – Day 5

After getting a good night’s sleep we left our hotel in Butte, Utah around 9:00 am and headed back west towards Monument Valley. We stopped for a quick breakfast at a small cafe in Mexican Hat and then drove for about an hour to Monument Valley.

When we arrived at the entrance of Monument Valley we paid the $20 entry fee and made our way up to the Visitor’s Center. We took a quick trip through the gift shop and then walked along the edge of the bluff overlooking the 17 mile loop through the valley.

The Valley Loop is a 17-mile unpaved road that takes you past about a dozen stops that are highlighted by different landmarks. The road was a bit bumpy and had several uneven spots that required some navigating, but the rental car handled it like a champ.

It took us about 3 hours to drive the loop with several stops along the way for photos. It was about 105 degrees outside so we didn’t spend much time in the sun, but we were able to enjoy the area without having to do much hiking.

One of the places we stopped to take photos there was a Navajo native with his horse perched out on an overhang of one of the bluffs. The area was where director John Ford filmed a lot of western movies, and John Wayne appeared in several of the films that helped make the area famous. Victoria was able to sit up on the horse for a photo opportunity. I wasn’t sure if she’d like being up on the horse, but she loved it.

By the time we left the area, there were storm clouds approaching quickly so we did our best to drive to Williams where our hotel for the night was located. We almost made it, but between Flagstaff and Williams, we were hit with a big thunderstorm and nearly had to pull over due to the heavy rain. At one point a car passed us and the wash from it’s tires completely blinded us as if we were driving through a car wash. Luckily, the storm only lasted about 15 miles and we finished our drive uneventfully.

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