SCENIC DRIVE AT MONUMENT VALLEY
17 mile scenic drive
The monuments in the park have descriptive names. They are based on ones imagina- tion. These names were created by the early settlers of Monument Valley. Others names portray a certain meaning to the Navajo people. The park consists of mesas, buttes and spire rock structures.
The East and West Mitten Buttes look like hands, yet it signifies spiritual beings watching over.
Merrick Butte and Mitchell Mesa are named after two prospectors who discovered silver inside the park. Unfortunately, stories reveal that a band of The Ute tribe killed the two and concealed the silver.
Elephant Butte, imagine a gigantic elephant in the southwest desert.
The Three Sisters is a formation of Catholic nun facing her two pupils.
Camel Butte, this mid-eastern animal faces the west.
The Hub- symbolizes a hub of a wagon wheel. Navajos see it as a fire place in the center of a gigantic Hogan (a Navajo home).
Rain God Mesa- marks the geological center of the park. Navajo medicine men pray and give thanks to the Rain God, who stored water for the people. On the south side, you can see dark painted streaks from the natural aquifer that seeps out at the base of the sandstone.
Bird Spring- overlooks a vast sand dune. At the bottom of the east portion is called
Sand Springs, a natural aquifer seeps out where the De Chelly and Navajo sandstone formations meet under the sand dune.
Totem Pole, this spire monument is an example of what erosion does to a butte. A totem pole is a historical or mythical marker created by Northeastern tribes, usually carved out of wood.
The Yei Bi Chei- (Navajo spiritual gods) located east of the Totem Pole, is a formation of dancers emerging from a Hogan.
Artist's Point, place where artists can create landscape and bring them to life on their canvas.
Spearhead Mesa is attached to spire monument that looks like a spear of an arrow.
North Window- overlooks the northern view of the lower valley. On the left is Elephant Butte. On the right is Cly Butte, Cly (Navajo name for Left), is named after a well known Navajo medicine man, he is buried at the foot of the formation.
The Thumb is a free standing spire apart from Camel Butte. This formation
also looks like a cowboy boot.
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