A Lodging Guide to Monument Valley

Monument Valley as seen from the observation deck at The View.  Photo taken at dusk. 

Monument Valley as seen from the observation deck at The View.  Photo taken at dusk. 

If you've ever wanted to visit the iconic location of Monument Valley in Arizona just over the Utah border, you should start by comparing the dates you'll be visiting with the available lodging in the area.  It's pretty remote and they often sell out far in advance.

There are really only two hotels in the area, two campgrounds and one set of cabins.  Let's look at the options.

INSIDE MONUMENT VALLEY

1) The View Hotel - This is the only hotel in Monument Valley and has only been in existence since 2008. It is visually unobtrusive and blends into the surrounding valley walls, making it almost unnoticeable if you're not approaching it from the main entrance.

This is me enjoying the private balcony on my first floor room.  The view was beautiful. 

This is me enjoying the private balcony on my first floor room.  The view was beautiful. 

It's an upscale hotel with free wifi and nice, cozy rooms.  All 95 rooms across three floors have private balconies overlooking Monument Valley. Oh, yeah. It's good.

But there are rooms with no views which are significantly cheaper. Significantly.  These "no valley view" rooms face the opposite direction of the valley, but at least you get to gaze into Utah. All prices for room types will populate when you check availability on their website.

Booking for The View Hotel should be done months in advance during the high season, May through September.  Prices are higher and chances of availability are slimmer.  Book ahead at least 1-2 months to November - April and 3-4 months during the summer peak season.  

My room's private balcony is on the first floor of The View Hotel.  It's the cheapest room with a view of the Valley and called "Two Queen Beds, Valley View".  The view is supposed to be less obstructed on the upper floors but the view from my room was pretty spectacular.   

My room's private balcony is on the first floor of The View Hotel.  It's the cheapest room with a view of the Valley and called "Two Queen Beds, Valley View".  The view is supposed to be less obstructed on the upper floors but the view from my room was pretty spectacular. 

 

Up close and personal view of Monument Valley from my 1st floor "Valley View" room.   

Up close and personal view of Monument Valley from my 1st floor "Valley View" room. 

 

The View Hotel in Monument Valley has nice, clean, American Southwestern-style rooms with a private balcony, TV, microwave, refrigerator, large closet, dressers and a nice big bathroom.

The View Hotel in Monument Valley has nice, clean, American Southwestern-style rooms with a private balcony, TV, microwave, refrigerator, large closet, dressers and a nice big bathroom.

Nice, big, clean bathrooms with a shower and tub and large vanity are in all the rooms at The View Hotel. 

Nice, big, clean bathrooms with a shower and tub and large vanity are in all the rooms at The View Hotel. 



As for rooms and pricing, in the off-season they range from $179-303 per night.  Although in the dead of winter, December through January, you can book a room for $112-258 per night.  Imagine pricing for the high season........ if you're lucky enough to get a room in say August it'll run you $236-371

The rooms, from top to bottom, are the Premium Star View (3rd floor), Premium Valley View (2nd floor) and Valley View (1st floor) rooms.  The higher you go, the higher the price, but the truth is that even the "worst" room has the best view.  All rooms are basically the same but for the level and price.  Each room comes with a fabulous bathroom, nice bed(s), space and a private balcony overlooking the valley.  I'm not the only one saying there's no need to pay $300 for a room on the top floor when the ones on the first level have nearly the same spectacular views.
 

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The View Restaurant is just down the hall from the rooms on the 1st floor.  The service was so-so but I ordered take out, so I could eat from my balcony overlooking the buttes as the sunset.  The Navajo Taco is huge... it's two meals for a single person... and it was fantastic. By far the best taco of any kind I've ever had.  And the Navajo soups are fabulous so don't be afraid to sample.  But if the restaurant isn't to  your liking... you don't have much choice because there are no other choices!  So make the best of it.  :)

There is a souvenir shop called the Trading Post inside the registration office and View Restaurant/Hotel with a lot of classic American Southwestern goodies, Monument Valley items and John Wayne memorabilia. 

OBSERVATION DECK: Just outside of the restaurant is the observation deck, which wraps around to the side of the premises. Many photos you see of the buttes in Monument Valley, like this, are taken from the observation deck:

Monument Valley as seen from the Observation Deck next to The View Restaurant.

Monument Valley as seen from the Observation Deck next to The View Restaurant.

 

2) The View Premium Cabins - These rustic private cabins have amazing views of the valley  and accommodate up to six guests. They are more secluded than The View Hotel but you have to pay for it.  They sell out much farther in advance and are between $225 -282 year round, depending on the room type. 

These cabins are situated a half mile from The View Hotel next to the campgrounds. While rooms do have refrigerators and microwaves, many with full kitchens, you'll have to go to The View Restaurant at The View Hotel for a sit down meal.  So one of the only disadvantages of staying in the cabins would be the lack of proximity to the restaurant. 

3) The View Campgrounds - Also called the Wilderness Tent Site, the campgrounds are about $20 per night and provide one of the most dramatic, authentically southwestern camping experiences in the United States.  A full restroom and shower facilities are also located next to the tent sites.

4) The View RV Site -  The "Sunset RV Site" is, obviously, for RV's and costs $40 per night. It also has shower and restroom facilities with for guests.

The View Restaurant and a convenience store inside the registration office (attached to The View Hotel and and observation deck) sells food, drinks, camping supplies and other items for campground and RV guests.

Reservations for the Campgrounds and RV site can be made HERE.  

MONUMENT VALLEY ENTRANCE FEES:  Monument Valley is a Navajo Tribal Park, not a part of the U.S. National Park Service.  There is a $20 entrance fee for cars with up to four people and a $5 fee for every additional person per vehicle.  Since it is part of Navajo Nation, no alcohol permitted or sold.  But it's okay.  You'll be intoxicated with your surroundings and won't even miss that nightcap.  

 

OUTSIDE MONUMENT VALLEY

1) Goulding's Lodge - Goulding's Lodge and Trading Post was the only hotel in Monument Valley until 2008 when The View Hotel was opened. This historic Lodge is just across Indian Rt. 163, which intersects Monument Valley Road. On one end of Monument Valley Road is The View Hotel, RV sites and campgrounds in Arizona, and on the other is Goulding's Lodge in Utah. 

Goulding's Lodge was founded in the early 1900's and put Monument Valley on the map as it lured Hollywood director John Ford to make a slew of famous western movies starring John Wayne, Shirley Temple and other megastars of the time in Monument Valley.  

RATES:  Prices for Goulding's Lodge range from a $63-135 in the off-season to around $200-$270 in peak season. The lodge is further away from Monument Valley, about five and 1/2 miles from The View, but still offers pretty amazing views. The rooms are not too shabby!

2) Goulding's Campground -  The campgrounds have a "Big Rig RV Site", a "Pull Thru RV Site" and a "Small Back In RV Site" all with full hook-up capacities for $40 a night. A list of services provided include hot showers and a convenience store, among many others. 

The Tent Site in the campgrounds are $25 per night and offer the same amenities as the RV areas.

Reservations and inqurities for both the lodge and the campgrounds can be made HERE.

Goulding's has a museum, gift shop and nice restaurant they call the Dining Room on the premises. 

Oh, and did I mention they have an airstrip? This is where photographer adventurer Chris Buckard captures his well known aerial videos of Monument Valley.

OTHER THINGS TO DO IN THE AREA

It'd be a shame to miss all the other iconic places within driving distance so when you leave Monument Valley,  you can also:

If for some reason there is no room at the inn at or near Monument Valley, there are three or four hotels south of Monument Valley in Kayenta, Arizona.  

Looking out over the valley towards the famous buttes.  The View hotel is out of frame to the upper left.  

Looking out over the valley towards the famous buttes.  The View hotel is out of frame to the upper left.  

Have you been to Monument Valley?  Where did you stay?  Are you a camper or a hotel person? Leave comments below!