National Parks Road Trip Days 8-End
Monument Valley Camping

More than halfway though our National Parks Road Trip...

Before leaving Bluff, UT we took the advice of the staff at Cottonwood Steakhouse and visited Sand Island , a BLM property offering very nice camping sites and excellent launching facility on the shores of the San Juan River.

We were hiking out to see the Petroglyph Panel located just outside of Bluff, UT. Over 100 yards of rock art dating from 6,500 BC and features hundreds of petroglyphs of every style. Human figures, many types of animals, geometric patterns, scalp figures and numerous Kokopelli figures, including a very obvious Kokopelli playing a flute.

The mostly unmarked trail was short and easily found behind the last campsite and traveled along the river. We even hiked in through a slot canyon and found a couple more paintings.

After taking a ton of photos there was one more stop we made and that was at Gooseneck State Park where the San Juan River zig zags through the rocky cliffs over 1,000 feet down. Fee to get in was $5 but worth every cent! The view was amazing! We then drove the appx 1 hour trip over to Monument Valley. We visited Goulding's Lodge , museum, campground and gift shops. Then we drove across the road to the Navajo Tribal Park Visitor Center and on into the Park. There is a $20 per vehicle fee (up to 4 persons) and that is good for 2 days (save your receipt!). After visiting the information center and museum we checked into our campsite. Camping there is $12 per night (They have a couple cabins for rent as well but they are quite a bit more!).Our campsite was down over the edge of the parking lot on a smooth ridge with a number of spots labeled. No trees or shade - and yes there were cactus. We picked out a nice level spot and put up our Eureka Copper Canyon Tent and we had our own "Cabin View" of the iconic "mittens". We took a jeep tour that evening and a wonderful horseback ride the next morning with Blacks Stables. It was the highlight of my trip, second only to the most amazing sunrise I have ever experienced! Galloping across the valley I had so many time seen on the silver screen growing up really meant a lot to me!

The adventure ended too soon. We stopped to get the last of our souvenirs and headed out for Tuttle, Oklahoma to visit family and then back to Florida.

What an amazing trip! I will post more detailed blogs on our other blog after returning home.