Hoping to spot John Wayne at Monument Valley

Monument Valley, UtahYou really can’t blame me.

John Wayne, the actor best known for his westerns may have died in 1979, but anyone who visits this impressive landscape that served as the natural set design for his films can’t help but wonder if they’ll catch a glimpse of him thundering by on his horse past these these sandstone rock formations…

The scenic Highway 163 cuts across Arizona and Utah, and the views of the towering rock formations in the desert are spectacular.

Monument Valley, UtahMonument Valley in Utah belongs to the Navajo Nation and they manage the park. They’ve also opened a new hotel, called The View, with stunning vistas over Monument Valley.

We were here on a fabulous trip out west last summer that I wrote about in an earlier post.

You can join a four-wheel drive Navajo guided tour or drive the desert roads on your own through a well-marked 17 mile (27 kilometer) – long circuit.

Monument Valley, UtahEither way, you’ll stop along the way to enjoy the stunning views.

For those who are staying longer, Navajo guides can also arrange visits to lesser-visited regions of the park.

Bring your camera – because every bend in the road offers panoramic views of these rock formations, and be sure to have on hand good shoes, and plenty of water.

And let me know if you do spot John Wayne out on the trails during your visit…

Monument Valley westerns

Hollywood cowboys

Monument Valley

My Italian cowboys


  1. ledrakenoir on June 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Yeah you’re right – looks like a great landscape for westerns… 😉

  2. kimberlysullivan on June 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Agreed – I can really see why so many westerns were shot in such a beautiful and desolate landscape.

  3. Claire 'Word by Word' on June 18, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    With a bit of Ennio Morricone soundtrack please. Since there is an Italian connection. 🙂

    • kimberlysullivan on June 19, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      Haha! Good call. Claire. The first time we took a cross-country trip, my husband had the Morricone soundtrack from ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’ ready fro our drive through the desert. : )

  4. Nicola Layouni on June 19, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Lovely pictures. All those two fabulous little cowboys need is a Stetson (?sp) 🙂

    Ah, I remember John Wayne. I seem to remember TV impersonators drawling(in terrible mock American accents), ‘Get off your horse and drink your milk’.

    Now, WHAT was that about???? 😀

    • kimberlysullivan on June 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      That is funny. No clue what it was about either, I’m afraid. : )

  5. Julia on June 20, 2013 at 2:29 am

    I love those peaceful landscapes. The Italian cowboys look happy…

    • kimberlysullivan on June 21, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Hi, Julia. Yes, the Italian cowboys were thrilled. No deserts over here… : )

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