Monument Valley is a landscape full of awe-inspiring natural beauty. From buttes, to rock formations, to arches, to scenic vistas, the Monument Valley feels like something straight out of a movie scene. A few of the buttes are particularly well-known. Here are a few:
- Totem Pole
The totem pole is perhaps the most unique looking rock formation in Monument Valley. It used to be a fully formed butte eons ago, but over the years, it has been eroded to the point that it is currently a rock spire that juts out of the ground. The totem pole is viewable as part of the many tours in Goulding’s.
The Totem Pole was in fact one of the filming locations for a Clint Eastwood film from the 1970s. One thing to keep in mind is that rock climbing is strictly prohibited on the Totem Pole.
2. Three Sisters
The three sisters are a formation of three neighboring rock formations which are located next to a ridgeline. The central formation is slightly shorter than the two outer formations. The three sisters are also visible as part of the various Goulding’s tours
3. and 4. West and East Mittens Butte
The East and West Mittens are perhaps the most iconic and well-known buttes within the Monument Valley. These are two large buttes within 2 miles of each other which arguably look like a pair of mittens. They both have a spire on the edge of the butte, giving off the illusion of a thumb on each side – hence two “mittens”. The two “mittens” have their “thumbs” pointed towards each other.
5. Merrick Butte is in the same area as West and East Mittens Butte. It is slightly larger than the other two buttes, and can also be seen during one of the many tours offered by the Goulding’s Lodge.
Goulding’s Tours in Monument Valley
The best way to visit these five formations is to go on one of the tours offered by Goulding’s Monument Valley Tours. The basic tour offers views all five rock structures, as well as a few other attractions, followed by an opportunity to view a rug-weaving demonstration. The deluxe tour provides the same tour, but also allows for stops at the Sun’s Eye and Ear of the Wind. The sunrise tour gives a tour of the area in the early morning, while the sunset tour does the same in the late evening. Additional tours include the all-day tour and full moon tour. Goulding’s also offers additional tours which take visitors to areas outside of the 17 mile loop.
Although visitors are encouraged to look at the buttes and spires visible during the tours, they should not climb them in any way. In addition, visitors should make sure they wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats to keep themselves protected from the sun while looking at the top five buttes of Monument Valley.
Monument Valley Rock Formations
There are various awe-inspiring rock formations in the Monument Valley, including the previously mentioned five buttes and spires, and the best way to see all of these is to have a local tour guide drive you around while explaining the history and meaning behind the various things in the area.