Monument Valley, Arizona and Utah
Published:January 01, 1987
Standing astride the Utah-Arizona border with bronzed shafts of sandstone, the buttes and pinnacles of Monument Valley rise above the high desert floor of the central Colorado Plateau. The valley is tucked into the apex of the southern end of the Monument Upwarp, a large asymmetrical anticline bounded on its southern and eastern margins by the Comb Ridge monocline (Fig. 1). As recently as 35 years ago, no paved roads served the remote region, today three U.S. highways (U.S. 160 running east-west, and U.S. 163 and U.S. 191 running north-south), provide access to the region. But the best way to see Monument Valley is via the back roads that provide access to some spectacular backcountry.
Monument Valley is located within the Navajo Indian Reservation. Travel on paved and main dirt roads is generally unrestricted. However, travel in some areas is restricted and a permit is required for rock collecting or extensive geological study. Inquiries should be addressed Navajo Nation, Window Rock, Arizona 86515.
Monument Valley and vicinity is covered by geologic maps of various scales 1:62,500 (Witkind and Thaden, 1963), 1:96,000 (Baker, 1936), 1:250,000 (U.S.G.S. Iseries, 345, 629, 744, 1003), and 1:500,000(Geological Maps of Utah and Arizona). Witkind and Thaden (1963) have provided the most comprehensive geological report of the region.
Figures & Tables
Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America
One of six volumes generated by each GSA section for the Decade of North American Geology (DNAG) project, this Centennial Field Guide contains descriptions of 100 sites or site clusters representing outstanding geologic locations in northern Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, and Alberta.