The View Lodge
The View Lodge is inside the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park which costs $20 to enter. The fee is a day use fee which provides you access to The Lodge, Visitors Information, the restaurant, and the infamous Valley Drive.
Valley Drive – Monument Valley
The Valley Drive is a 17 mile drive though Monument Valley and is famous for its sandstone buttes known at The Mittens. We measured the drive on our odometer and it fell quite a bit short of 17 miles. We aren’t sure how it was measured but it was still a beautiful drive. We arrived first thing in the morning so we could witness sunrise before we embarked on our journey. The road was in fine condition and we had no problem driving it in our tow vehicle. We had read and heard that the road can be in terrible condition which we could see if it had just rained. Most of the road is maintained gravel and in good condition.
Forest Gump Point
You can’t drive between Monument Valley and Mexican Hat without seeing tourists in the middle of the road trying to capture that Forest Gump photograph.
Mexican Hat is a small village between Monument Valley and Bluff and sits along the San Juan River. It is a near a rock formation called, appropriately, Mexican Hat Rock. It is a perfect navigation feature for those coming down the San Juan River. The Old Bridge Grille and the San Juan Inn sit on the bluffs right along the river.
Goosenecks State Park
This Utah State Park is located a short distance from Mexican Hat along the San Juan River which meanders like a goose’s neck through the gorge. The park offers day use and 8 dry camping camping sites along the rim with fantastic views. The park is quite small and was busy during the day with tourists stopping by for very short visits. The campsites are a bit further down from the day use and would probably avoid the hustle and bustle from the visitors. Some of the sites, which are not really well marked, are a bit bumpy with rocks. The ranger told us that the covered picnic table sites were day use and the camping sites were further down the road. We read that those dispersed camping sites are really outside of the state park in BLM but yet the state park charges a fee for them. Who knows? It is still a beautiful area and may be well worth the $10 camping fee. When we were there in June all sites were available.
A not-so-great video showing the road condition and camping sites can be found on You Tube…published by yours truly.