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Enjoy Monument Valley jeep tours with Caravan Tours!

The pristine Monument Valley is located in the heart of Navajo Nation near Lake Powell along the Utah-Arizona border.

This restricted Utah backcountry is highly protected in order to preserve its many natural buttes, arches, and mesas. In fact, the area is only accessible to authorized Navajo guides; private vehicles are prohibited. All visitors must enter via a Navajo tour guide.

Despite its restricted access, for those vacationing in Utah and visiting the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley National Park is another “can’t miss” attraction and included in Caravan’s Grand Canyon tour.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park History

The official name of Monument Valley is Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park.

As one of the most photographed points on the planet, this desert area has been featured in numerous early western films. Many come to Monument Valley, Utah to experience the “Good Old West” by jeep.

Those who have enjoyed Monument Valley jeep tours say that the valley offers some of “the most enduring and definitive images of the American West.” The red mesas and buttes (isolated flat top hills with steep sides) are pretty impressive. What may come as a surprise to many vacationers is the vast, wide-open sandy desert that feels like it’s straight from a movie or commercial. With a somewhat familiar touch, the area feels like you know it well, even on your first trip. That’s not to say the valley is not spectacular.

This open desert region of Utah is highlighted by many sandstone formations, plus the unique Navajo Indian population and the famous Four Corners Monument.

As mentioned, Monument Valley jeep tours is only conducted by certified Navajo tour guides. There are many jeep tours guided by registered Navajo tour operators that will take visitors down into the valley and up close to the many of the popular mythical formations. These areas are simply not accessible for visitors wanting to explore on foot.

Monument Valley Attractions and Landmarks

Monument Valley was once a vast lowland basin. Over many millennia, the landscape was eroded exposing layer after layer of sediment. With pressure from below the surface, these formations gently uplifted to create the now famous Monument Valley attractions, the red buttes and mesas.

Monument Valley Buttes

On Monument Valley jeep tours you’ll see the extremely steep sides and flat tops of the buttes. These are quite a sight to behold as they jut out from the flat surrounding desert landscape. Monument Valley features some of the world’s largest and most famous buttes including:

East and West Mitten Buttes – These buttes look like a set of hands. For Navajo peoples it symbolizes spiritual beings keeping watch over the valley.

Elephant Butte – A butte in the southwest point of the desert named for its elephant like appearance.

Camel Butte – A west facing butte named for the famous spitting, middle-eastern animal.

Monument Valley Mesas

In addition to the buttes, Monument Valley jeep tours also include up close tour of the mesas, which are similar to a butte but much wider. The famous mesas in Monument Valley include:

Merrick and Mitchell Mesas – Mesas named after two explorers who thought they struck it rich when they stumbled upon silver in Monument Valley. However, according to history, Merrick and Mitchell were eventually killed by the Ute tribe who wanted to conceal the silver.

Rain God Mesa – This mesa marks what is traditionally believed to be the geographical center of the world. Navajo medicine men pray to the Rain Gods at this mesa, whose south side seeps out water from the base of the sandstone.

Spearhead Mesa – A mesa that bares resemblance to the spear of an arrow; attached to Spire Monument.

All Inclusive Grand Canyon Vacations Include Monument Valley

Monument Valley jeep tours explore many of famous Utah landmarks and are included as part of Caravan’s all inclusive Grand Canyon Vacation Packages.

These 8-day, fully escort Grand Canyon vacations depart from Phoenix, AZ and end in Las Vegas, NV, between April and November of each year. Famous locations along the tour route include Sedona, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam, Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon.

Visit Caravan’s Grand Canyon Vacation Reviews page to read what other Caravan vacationers have to say about these all inclusive Grand Canyon tours.

Call Caravan Tours toll free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) today to reserve your spot!

Enjoy a Lake Powell cruise as part of Caravan Tours’ all-inclusive Grand Canyon tour.

Lake Powell, in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, stretches for over 185 miles in an area once known as Lee’s Ferry, situated north of the Grand Canyon in Arizona and west of Bryce National Park in Utah.

This man-made reservoir on the Colorado River borders Arizona and Utah and is named after John Wesley Powell, a one-armed American Civil War veteran who explored the Colorado River in a posse of three wooden boats.

Today, Lake Powell is the Reservoir on the Colorado River that acts as a water basin to Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California. Enjoy a Lake Powell boat tour as part of Caravan’s all-inclusive Grand Canyon tour.

Glen Canyon Dam

Glen Canyon Dam helps to form the second-largest man-made reservoir in the United States.

Back in 1963 the building of the dam, and flooding of the Glen Canyon, was highly controversial. The reservoir was originally planned for what is now Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado. However, activists lobbied to protect the area and the plans were moved over to Lee’s Ferry, which was situated between Glen Canyon and Grand Canyon.

The waters now flood Glen Canyon, which was reported to once be rich in extraordinary attributes such as 80 foot plus canyon walls, sandstone streams, and numerous Native American heritage sites. Natural landscapes such as arches and natural bridges were also compromised in the flooding.

On September 13, 1963, the Glen Canyon Dam project was officially completed. It took an additional 17 full years for Lake Powell to reach its high watermark. Water levels fluctuate to this day with seasonal changes.

Lake Powell Cruise with Caravan

A scenic Lake Powell cruise will open a visitor’s eyes to many of the above-mentioned natural landscapes that are still visible today despite the flooding of Glen Canyon.

The waters that fill Glen Canyon create nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline thanks to Lake Powell’s intricate rock formations. This is longer than the entire west coast of the continental US! These shorelines allow visitors to access 96 major canyons that are only accessible via watercraft.

As many would imagine, the vantage point from the boat on a Lake Powell cruise provides countless photo opportunities of a skyline undisturbed by modern civilization.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument

One of the most popular landmarks to behold in the Lake Powell area is Rainbow Bridge, labeled the world’s highest natural bridge.

This rock formation was originally recorded in 1974 to be 275 feet; later in 2007, a more accurate laser measurement recorded the formation at 234 feet. The peak of the bridge is 42 feet thick and 33 feet wide.

Rainbow Bridge is easily accessed by a two-hour Lake Powell boat ride and a short mile-long hike from the wharf up the canyon. For more active vacationers, Rainbow Bridge can also be accessed on foot. This several-hour hike from the trailhead requires a special permit from the Navajo Nation but is well worth it.

The sacred and religious meaning of Rainbow Bridge is held dear to many local Native American groups. They express concern about visitors walking underneath the bridge and National Park Services requests that all tourists be respectful of the people who have historically visited the monument. However, it is not illegal to walk under the bridge or approach the bridge, and there is a well-worn path under the bridge that gives proof of thousands of visitors exploring the natural wonder.

Antelope Canyon Lake Powell National Park

The well-visited Antelope Canyon, which you will experience on your Lake Powell cruise, got its Navajo name from the herds of pronghorn antelope who roamed the area.

Navajos pictured the canyon as a very spiritual place such as a cathedral. Traditionally, Navajos would take a short pause before entering the region in order to prepare the people for the protection and to gather a deep attitude of respect. Trekking through the area was viewed as a very spiritual experience that would connect them with what Mother Nature had to offer and to promote living in harmony.

Today, Antelope Canyon is divided into two sections:

  1. Upper Antelope Canyon features water running through rocks (which is the meaning of the Navajo name for the area). The upper area is situated about 4,000 feet above sea level and the canyon walls rise up about 120 feet above the streambed.
  2. Lower Antelope Canyon features famous spiral rock arches.

Visitors require a guide for visiting both the Upper and Lower regions of Antelope Canyon.

Lake Powell Reviews

Visit Caravan’s Grand Canyon tour reviews page to read what other vacationers have to say about their Lake Powell cruise experience. Here are just a few reviews from Caravan Tour guests:

The sightseeing and activities were very good. Plenty to see and absorb. To me, it was the right amount to see. Lake Powell was great! The motor coach was nice. It was clean, new and comfortable. I was concerned about this before the tour, but that soon went away! It was an absolutely great coach tour. I am recommending it back home. I will do it again ‘somewhere’ next year. Please let us know if our tour director moves to another tour. We would like to take one with her again! Thanks for a great vacation!”
Mr. & Mrs. M.S., Elkton, Florida

The sightseeing and activities such as visits to the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion cannot be anything but breathtaking; and, the intervening stops at Lake Powell and Monument Valley were well chosen. Overall, it was a superb vacation that we enjoyed greatly from start to finish. I don’t know how it could be improved.”
Mr. & Mrs. S.W., Wilmington, North Carolina

My favorite part of the tour was traveling to three states, visiting various locations and me not doing any of the driving. The Lake Powell Resort hotel was a very nice facility and the dining and breakfast were outstanding. The tour was excellent, there were many options of sightseeing and activities that were more than I expected. Another favorite part of the tour was Bryce Canyon and Zion Park, the beauty was breathtaking. My wife wanted to know when we were moving out there, I told her we must go back as I only took 577 photographs.”
Mr. & Mrs. D.M., York, Pennsylvania

Caravan’s Grand Canyon Vacations

A Lake Powell cruise and many of these famous Arizona landmarks are included as part of Caravan’s all-inclusive Grand Canyon vacations.

This 8-day, fully escorted Grand Canyon vacation is affordably priced and all-inclusive, which means that all itinerary meals, land travel, hotel accommodations, scheduled activities, and even gratuities are included. Other famous locations included in Caravan’s Grand Canyon Tour include Phoenix, Oak Creek Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park.