Perhaps our luck has changed. We had a wonderful day visiting Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley. Today will be one of the most expensive days on our South West road trip and maybe our 85 days. The two tours we are taking are not part of the National Parks, so we have both entrance and tour fees. No regrets – these two sites were breathtaking.
The Antelope Canyon, run by the Navajo, is remarkable. It had rained today before, and they’d had flash floods. Everything is OK for our trip through the canyon. It’s a 10-minute drive through the area where the waters run during a flood. At the end of our tour, more thunderstorms were coming.
Our tour finished at noon, and then I realized that the Navajo don’t use daylight savings time and so technically, it was 1 PM, which would be the same time zone when we hit Utah. That meant we had an hour’s drive ahead of us and our tour started in just over two hours.
As we made our way to Monument Valley, we could see the rain clouds behind us, and we ran through a few rain spots. I was concerned that it would be like this regard to our tour. Monument Valley is a tribal park owned and operated by the Navajo Nation.
Here is what I use to find various tours and trips.
There was a lineup to enter Monument Valley, so we called ahead to ensure they would wait for us. It turns out that we were the only two on the Sand Stone Tours, which is a Navajo family-run business.
I can’t begin to tell you how marvellous it all was. If you’ve been to Monument Valley, you know, and if you have not, it should be a bucket list item.
We stayed at Goulding’s Lodge just outside the park, as other hotels were about 20 minutes away.
Harry Goulding was a sheep trader looking for a new business opportunity and a place to call home. In the early 1920s, Harry and his wife Leone, whose nickname was “Mike,” visited Monument Valley and were enamored with the area. Although Monument Valley had once been part of the Paiute Indian Reservation, the reservation relocated and areas of land opened up for sale. The Goulding’s jumped at the chance to purchase a substantial plot of land in Monument Valley and quickly set up a Trading Post. In 1962, Knox College of Illinois took over the Trading Post and Lodge and the Gouldings retired in Arizona.
The hotel is on the side of the mountain, looking out towards Monument Valley. It’s pretty lovely. We had a light dinner there, looking out at the lightning storm across the desert. And the following day, I had my coffee with a jacket on as it was chilly and sat outside on the balcony—a lovely treat.