Hiking the Wildcat Trail in Monument Valley

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The Wildcat Trail in Monument Valley, Arizona

Monument Valley is one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States. Located on the border of Arizona and Utah, this stunning valley is known for its towering rock formations, sweeping vistas, and rich Native American history. Monument Valley has been featured in countless movies and television shows over the years, cementing its status as a beloved iconic American location.

One of the best ways to experience Monument Valley is by hiking the Wildcat Trail. The Wildcat trail is the only trail in Monument Valley that does not require a guide. This 3.2-mile loop trail is the only hiking trail that allows visitors to explore the valley floor, giving them an up-close and personal view of the towering rock formations and stunning vistas. The Wildcat Trail begins at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Visitor Center, where visitors can purchase their entry passes and pick up a map of the trail.

The trail is an easy hike, with some rocky terrain and is mostly flat.

Hiking the Wildcat Trail

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The trail is well maintained and well-marked. As you begin the hike, you'll immediately be struck by the stunning beauty of the valley. The towering rock formations, with their red and orange hues, are truly awe-inspiring. You'll pass by some of the most famous formations in the valley, including the Mittens and Merrick Butte.

One of the best times to hike the Wildcat Trail is during the cool temps of the early morning. The soft, warm light of the sun can transform the valley into a magical wonderland of color and light. If you're planning to hike during these times, be sure to bring a camera to capture some of the stunning views. Morning and evening provide cooler temperatures for this mostly exposed hike with little shade.

While the Wildcat Trail is an excellent way to experience Monument Valley, there are many other things to see and do in the area. The valley is home to several guided tours, including jeep tours and horseback rides, which provide visitors with a unique and unforgettable experience.

If you're planning a visit to Monument Valley, it's important to plan ahead. The park can get crowded during peak season, so be sure to book your entry passes and any tours or activities in advance. You should also come prepared with plenty of water, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing and footwear for hiking.

In addition to hiking the Wildcat Trail, another popular way to experience Monument Valley is by driving the 17-mile scenic loop. This breathtaking drive takes visitors through some of the most stunning vistas in the valley, including views of the iconic rock formations that have made Monument Valley famous.

The drive begins at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Visitor Center, where visitors can purchase their entry passes and pick up a map of the loop. The route takes visitors along a well-maintained road that winds through the valley, with several stops along the way to take in the stunning views.

One of the highlights of the drive is the iconic view of the Mittens, a pair of towering rock formations that resemble giant mittens. This view has been featured in countless movies and television shows, cementing its status as an American icon.

Another must-see stop on the drive is John Ford Point, named after the famous director who filmed many of his iconic westerns in Monument Valley. From this viewpoint, visitors can take in panoramic views of the valley and a stunning view of the West Mitten Butte.

Other notable stops along the drive include the Three Sisters rock formations, Camel Butte, and the North Window viewpoint. Each of these stops offers visitors a unique perspective on the stunning natural beauty of Monument Valley.

Driving the 17-mile scenic loop is a fantastic way to experience the beauty of Monument Valley at a leisurely pace, with plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the stunning views. Whether you're a nature lover, photography enthusiast, or simply looking for a scenic drive through one of America's most iconic landmarks, the 17-mile scenic loop is a must-see attraction in Monument Valley.


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