Phoenix to Monument Valley: Exploring Utah's Historic Sites
Uncover the history of Utah's canyon country and desert southwest.
Editor's Note: Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and Four Corners are closed until further notice, along with all Navajo Tribal Parks facilities. At this time we suggest adapting the first two days of this itinerary to include experiences in the Bears Ears National Monument area instead. Check out the Bears Ears Starts Kit for ideas in the region. Consult this resource for additional closures and travel considerations in Southeastern Utah.
Southern Utah is unique in that much of it seems as raw, unspoiled and unexplored as it did hundreds of years ago. Put yourself in the shoes of the area’s first inhabitants and imagine their excitement and awe at the same views that stretch before you as you embark on this six-day road trip to the Monument Valley Region.
Heading north, you can live like the pioneers who settled this once-barren area at Bluff Fort. Or imagine what life was like farming in desert country at the well-preserved Gifford Homestead. Explore an ancient Ancestral Pueblo village or take a Jeep tour through the majestic Navajo lands of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Then, explore the ruins of an ancient Fremont Indian village rich with rock art sites and well-preserved artifacts.
On the final leg of your journey, follow the route of pioneer explorers as you drive Hole-in-the-Rock Road. Afterwards, discover the wildlife that have long inhabited the Paunsaugunt Plateau, then seem them for yourself as you explore Bryce Canyon National Park. This road trip is all about celebrating Utah's open spaces as they are, and as they have been for years.
Start: Drive roughly five hours northeast from Phoenix to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.
End: Kanab, a charming city in Southwestern Utah.
Hours of Driving: 22+ hours, including the commute to and from Phoenix.
Places to Stay & Local Guides: Monument Valley is only the first stop of many. This road trip will lead you through many of Utah’s best historic sites. While you may want to spend a few nights camping under the stars, there are many nearby towns with wonderful lodging options, including Bluff, Monticello, Boulder, Escalante, Torrey and Bryce City. Also, be sure to make reservations with local tour guides beforehand in order to make the most of your road trip.