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Monument Valley

Cultural History
Way Cool Facts

Way Cool Facts About Monument Valley

Totem Pole Rock (14)

  • Monument Valley began as the sandy bottom of an ancient sea....and now its landforms rise more than 1000 feet in the air!!! (1)
  • The Totem Pole, a well-known spire in Monument Valley, rises 300 feet in the air, but it's only a few metres wide!!! (2)
  • Not only does Monument Valley have tons of eroded also has tons of ancient caves, cliff dwellings of ancient inhabitants, natural arches, and petroglyphs!!! (3)
  • Monument Valley isn't really a valley!  It's actually just a large sandy plain with landforms that rise 100s of feet above the ground!!! (4)
  • Monument Valley is a semi-arid only gets about 250 mm (10 in) of precipitation a year!!! (5)
  • The reddish hues seen in the red sandstone are caused by iron oxide that's present in the rock!!! (6) 
  • The Monument Upwarp that caused these ancient sedimentary rocks to reach the surface is over 100 km long!!! (7)
  • The Anasazi Indians that inhabited the area from the Common Era suddenly disappeared around 1300 AC without a trace!!! (8)
  • Monument Valley is known to the Navajo as the "Treeless Area Amid The Rocks" and is believed to have supernatural powers!!! (9) 
  • According to the Navajo, Totem Pole Rock is said to be a god held up by lightning and El Capitan is said to be a support for the sky!!! (10)
  • The major source of income for the Navajo people is tourism as thousands of people come to Monument Valley every year!!! (11) 
  • Monument Valley was made famous as being the location where countless Western films have been shot!  Some of these include The Vanishing American (1925), Stagecoach (1938), My Darling Clementine (1946), She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Legend Of The Lone Ranger (1952), The Searchers (1956), How The West Was Won (1962), and Cheyenne Autumn (1964). (12) 
  • John Wayne received his first leading role in the movie Stagecoach, which was shot in Monument Valley!!! (13)

View of Monument Valley's many buttes and spires rising from the desert (15)

1.  "Arizona," Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, (Microsoft Corporation, 1997).
2.  John Crossley, The American Southwest: Utah: Monument Valley, 2005, <> (5 January 2006).
3.  Ibid.
4.  Ibid.
5.  "Arizona,"  Microsift Encarta....
6.  NState, Arizona: The Geography of Arizona, January 2006, <> (5 January 2006).
7.  Ibid.
8.  Ibid.
9.  Ibid.
10.  Ibid.
11.  Ibid.
12.  Ibid.
13.  Ibid.
14.  Tom Phillips, Keyah Hozhoni Monument Valley Tours, 2005, <> (30 December 2005).
15.  Digital West Media and, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, 2006, <>  (25 January 2006).