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Routes in Monument Valley

El Cap Original Route/ West Face T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c X
Shangri-La T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a A0 PG13
Throne (King on a Throne), The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A2
Totem Pole T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A2
Totem Pole "Never Never Land" route T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a C2
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Access Issue: Closed. Details


Monument Valley is on the Navajo Indian Reservation in the 4 corners area of the Colorado Plateau. It is in NE Arizona, and SE Utah. It is 29,817 acres, and at an elevation of 5564 feet. The Tribal Park was established in 1958 by the Navajo Tribe. There is a visitor's center, a small campground, and a 1-way dirt road loop you can drive for a small fee. Climbing is illegal in the Tribal Park, as well as hiking off the loop road. There are a few residential homes here and there in the Tribal Park, and locals try to sell various crafts to the tourists around the Tribal Park. This area is one of the planet's most scenic wonders, and the rock formations in the Tribal Park are some of the world's most amazing rock formations, pinnacles, mesas, spires, and cliffs. It is an area of unbelievable beauty. This area has been photographed to the point where the whole world has seen the vistas, views, scenes, and formations of this amazing area. Hollywood has also taken advantage of this area, and Monument Valley has been the backdrop for many movies and TV commercials. One of the Tribal Parks more amazing spires is The Totem Pole, perhaps the world's tallest and skinniest spire. The Navajo Tribe has strictly stuck to their rule of no rock climbing in the Tribal Park, but with Hollywood money, we have seen Clint Eastwood and George Kennedy "climb" the Totem Pole, McGyver land a handglider on the Totem Pole's summit, and Xerox put a desk with a secretary on top of the Pole's summit as well. There have been clandestine ascents of most of the area's formations, and I believe a few climbers have been caught climbing in the Park and had their gear taken away from them. It is probably best NOT to climb in the Tribal Park, especially the formations on and near the one-way dirt loop road. Some of the other formations away from the Tribal Loop Road are less scrutinized by the Tribal Authorities, and are less of a risk for would-be poachers. Still, it is against The Navajo Tribes wishes and laws to climb within the Tribal Park, and anywhere on the Navajo Indian Reservation, for that matter, and most people adhere to their wishes.

Getting There

The Tribal Park is about 25 miles NE of the town of Keyenta, Arizona.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Monument Valley

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c X
El Cap Original Route/ West Face
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
El Cap Original Route/ West…
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c X Trad
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You forgot about the car that they put on top of the Totem Pole for a commercial. May 21, 2007
Josh Janes    
If you're heading North through Monument Valley (from Flagstaff to Moab), there is a huge volcanic plug just off the road to the right (east), before reaching Monument Valley proper. Does anyone know what this is/if it's been climbed? Some of the rock looks very reminiscent of the high quality stuff at Smith... Aug 9, 2008
Many people who travel to Four Corners Monument are inquisitive about the lifestyle and cultures of these Native Americans. You could tour the visitor center and learn more about them. If you want a more hands-on experience, you could visit Monument Valley, which is close to the monument. Pay three dollars and you get admission to the only point where the boundaries of four US states (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah) hit each other. If you are interested in geographical points like that and like taking the famous "standing-in-four-states-in-one-moment" shots, then this place is a must-go I have to admit. Nov 22, 2010
Tucson, Arizona
RyanJohnson   Tucson, Arizona
All areas on the Navajo Nation are closed to non-Navajos unless you have a valid camping, hiking or backcountry permit issued by the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department or other duly delegated tribal authority. Failure to have a permit is considered Trespassing on a Federal Indian Reservation.

NO ROCK CLIMBING on Navajo Land. Please abide by the humble religious requests of the Navajo people and do not climb the Monuments. “Navajo law will be strictly enforced on this issue,” Parks Department Manager.

It's illegal. Go for a hike, enjoy the area, and leave the climbing gear at home.

Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Nov 12, 2012

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