Where is Monument Valley?
Monument valley can be found on the Utah-Arizona border in a beautiful red rock desert. It’s home to iconic rock formations and sets to many Hollywood movies. Most people include Monument Valley in an epic road trip through Utah, while visiting Utah’s Canyons Country, or after a visit to the epic small town of Page, Arizona. Whatever your route, once you arrive you have several options when it comes to camping in Monument Valley. Today I am going to share the Best Campsite IMHO!
Camping in Monument Valley
In Monument Valley, you have several unique options such as backcountry camping, horse camping, car camping, or even just staying at one of the well-known campsites. A few of these campsites include The View campground, the Holiday tribal park campsite, Goulding’s campground, or even Sleeping bear campground. However, instead of spending another weekend on a normal tent camping trip, I would recommend having a once in a lifetime experience by camping in a HOGAN!
What is a Hogan?
Discover Navajo describes it as, “The Hogan is a sacred dwelling. It is the shelter of the people of the earth, a protection, a home, and a refuge. Because of the harmony in which the hogan is built, the family can be together to endure hardships and grow as part of the harmony between the sacred mountains, under the care of “Mother Earth” and “Father Sky”.
How To Rent Or Reserve a Hogan
There are several companies that you can go through in order to stay in a hogan overnight. Discover Navajo, Mother Earth Hogan, Fir Tree Bed & Breakfast, and there are airbnb options like Nizhoni Hogan, Rose Hogan, and many others! Just do a little search on airbnb and type in “hogan monument valley” and you’ll find several others. Here is a $55 dollar coupon off of your stay when booking through airbnb, enjoy!
Monument Valley Hogan Camping + Tour
I did a full overnight hogan tour with Simpson’s Trailhandler Tours and it was amazing! They offer different tours including photography tours, rides throughout Monument Valley, and the most exciting one is the overnight hogan tour! To begin, they pick you up in the lobby of The View Hotel and give you a tour of the main park with interesting stories and facts about the area.
After seeing some of the iconic landmarks, they take you to a beautiful picnic area and feed you Navajo tacos! Shortly after dinner, they’ll put on a performance where they will demonstrate some traditional dances along with their music. Once the dancing and singing are finished, your tour guide will drive you to your very own hogan for the evening!
The structure and materials of hogan’s are made out of natural resources such as desert juniper trees, juniper barks (for insulation) and dirt (red desert earth) plastered over the dome-shaped structure made out of juniper logs. It’s cool in the heat of summer and warm in the winter. They will provide sleeping bags & pads but ask that you bring your own pillow. They have primitive toilets nearby and will provide toilet paper. Other than that, you’ll have to bring any other items that you’ll need for a successful camping trip. For example, if you’re like me and enjoy a charged phone, bring a portable charger that you can use overnight as there are no power outlets.
Experience of Sleeping in a Hogan-
After getting settled in for the night, our awesome tour guide, John, told us the Navajo’s version of ghost stories! One of the highlights of the entire trip if you ask me. Once he was finished, he left us a lamp and camped nearby leaving all of us in the Hogan to rest after a long day.
It had been quite awhile that I’d experienced such a dark, starry sky and it was amazing. In addition to the complete blackness is was SO quiet! I really think it’s a good idea to spend some time in an environment like this because it re-centers you on what’s important in life and makes you feel small (which in my opinion, is really healthy to feel once in a while).
Hogan camping is a unique experience that should be on your bucket list, especially when looking for the best camping in Monument Valley. Want a Complete 4-Day Itinerary for Monument Valley and the surrounding area? Find the guide here!
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