• Photo: Peter Guttman/Peterguttman.com
  • Photo: Peter Guttman/Peterguttman.com
  • Photo: Peter Guttman/Peterguttman.com
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Monument Valley

The magnificent Monument Valley stretches to the northeast of Kayenta into Utah. At a base altitude of about 5,500 feet, the sprawling, arid expanse was once populated by Ancestral Puebloan people (more popularly known by the Navajo word "Anasazi," which means both "ancient ones" and "ancient enemies") and in the last few centuries has been home to generations of Navajo farmers. The soaring red buttes, eroded mesas, deep canyons, and naturally sculpted rock formations of Monument Valley are easy to enjoy on a leisurely drive.

At U.S. 163 and the Monument Valley entrance is a street of disheveled buildings called Vendor Village. Here you can purchase trinkets and souvenirs; bartering is perfectly acceptable and expected.

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Fodor's Essential Southwest: The Best of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah

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