The Navajo people have lived in this area for centuries, enduring the harsh climate and dwelling in this rough terrain. In the early years, they suffered slave raids by the Spaniards and white Americans, and attacks by other Indian tribes. But through it all, our people survived.
The Anasazi Indians lived throughout this area before they disappeared. The beautiful petroglyphs and pictographs they left are well preserved. Many of their dwellings are still intact, and we visit these sites on our tours.
In 1938, John Ford and John Wayne made “Stagecoach,” the movie that first brought Monument Valley to the attention of the film and tourist industries. Since then, Monument Valley has been a favorite for photographers and filmmakers.
The impressive sandstone formations: buttes, spires, and towers - the geological monuments that gave Monument Valley its name - are the result of centuries and millennia of erosion and uplift. Red sandstone cliffs and spires are predominantly made of Cutler Formation sandstone from the Permian period of around 160 million years ago. Volcanic action also created some of the formations in Monument Valley, such as Chiastla Butte and Agathla Peak.
Monument Valley is more than just a park or nature preserve; it is home to Navajo people who have preserved their traditions, their language, their art forms, their pastoral sheep-herding way of life, and their relation of harmony and respect with the land. Today, Monument Valley is protected as a Navajo Tribal Park.
Visitors may drive along a self-guided route that passes some of the most famous buttes and spires. But much of Monument Valley can only be seen on tours conducted by official Navajo guides - like those who work for Kéyah Hózhóní Tours. This policy protects the traditonal land-use patterns of Navajo families who have lived in the valley and surrounding areas for generations. But it also guarantees a richer and more complete experience to visitors from around the world - unusual views at the best times of day, stories and legends of the Navajo people, ancient ruins, and an insider's view of the most spectacular landscape in the Navajo Nation.