8. Utah: Monument Valley Self-Guided Driving Tour
Explore the incredible Monument Valley on a self-guided tour. Follow the app along the route to learn about the area's geology, history, and people.
Start your adventure on the outskirts of the tiny town of Mexican Hat. From here, cruise across the rust-red land and crest the rise where Forrest Gump’s long run finally came to an end in the famous Tom Hanks film. Then, continue on to Monument Valley itself. Along the way, get acquainted with the park and learn what makes it different from other national parks.
After passing the visitor center, turn back the clock 200 million years to see how these unique formations came to be. Then, jump forward in time to learn about the mysterious Anasazi tribe, the first people who ever lived in this harsh place, and the Navajo. Next, come to Wildcat Trail, the only self-guided trail in the park. From here, you can hike through some of the most incredible sights the valley has to offer. After that, see the towering formations of East Mitten Butte, West Mitten Butte, and Merrick Butte.
Continue to John Ford Point, a gorgeous viewpoint named for the famous Western director John Ford. Along the way, dig into the countless Hollywood hits that have been filmed here over the years, from The Searchers to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Visit the Three Sisters monoliths looming 1,000 feet over the landscape.
On your way through the jaw-dropping scenery, learn more about the long history of the Navajo, from the dramatic tale of Navajo code talkers in World War II to the tribe’s modern presence in the country. At North Window Overlook, find the perfect spot to catch a sunrise. Finally, end up near Camel Butte and Elephant Butte, where your tour will conclude.