Horse riding in the majestic scenery of Monument Valley is an experience we will treasure the rest of our lives. Accompanied by our Navajo guide, we galloped across the valley, visited some of the legendary western movie sites and witnessed spectacular panoramic views that left us speechless.
The world is filled with once-in-a-life adventures, but believe me, horse riding through a quintessentially western American landscape is something anyone should try.
Dotted with spectacular crimson mesas and imposing buttes, Monument Valley is one of the most photographed places on Earth.
The valley overwhelms even more when you ride through it, not only by its beauty but also by its great size.
Our guide took us through a narrow trail along the face of the mesa.
As we ascended I suffered a little bit from vertigo but we were rewarded with a unique close-up view of the immense rock formations as well as memorable vistas of the valley. From time to time we would pause to appreciate the vastness of the desert.
There we were, just the three of us, our well-trained horses and the endless horizon. Our guide shared with us traditional stories, Navajo legends and myths that made the ride even much more interesting.
“Monument Valley is the place where God put the West” ~ John Wayne
As we trotted along the undulating desert, we felt as though we had been there before. Thanks to Hollywood, we had. Featured in countless westerns and TV commercials, Monument Valley has been the symbol of the American Old West from decades.
John Ford´s iconic western “Stagecoach” elevated John Wayne to stardom. My dad was huge fans of him, so you can imagine his reaction when we told him where we were!
Ford shot nine more westerns in Monument Valley. His favourite camera location was named John Ford´s Point in his honor. Most companies include it in their tours but the best way to visit the famous viewpoint is from the back of a horse, like John Wayne did. John Ford´s Point offers magnificent views of the giant mesas, buttes and spires. Visitors can even get the chance to photograph a Navajo man rearing his horse onto his hind legs in front of all that breathtaking scenery.
We would like to thank our Navajo guide for making this such a wonderful experience. He was very friendly, professional and made us discover the beauty of his land. We met him by chance. After driving along the 17-mile scenic road through Monument Valley, we stopped at some roadside stands where numerous Navajo vendors were selling jewelry, crafts and souvenirs. One of them offered us the tour and we accepted it immediately. It was an opportunity we couldn´t miss!
If you prefer to book it in advance there are numerous tours to choose from. The rates obviously vary depending on the length of the ride.