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Old 03-24-2021, 08:18 PM   #1
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Monument Valley

Know a lot of people decry 'commercial' campgrounds, but, to be honest, this KOA in Monument Valley is amazing.
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Old 03-24-2021, 10:06 PM   #2
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Looks Nice . I like the fact it is not full.
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Old 03-25-2021, 12:50 AM   #3
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We spent a few days at this KOA back in 2019. As a campground, I recall it as your average brand new KOA. But for us, the rules for campgrounds are the same as the rules for real estate: location, location, location. By those criteria, it's a five star campground. Handy to the park for our sunrise and sunset backcountry (only accessible with a local guide) photo tours.
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Old 03-25-2021, 01:10 AM   #4
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How's the fishing?
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Old 03-25-2021, 10:04 AM   #5
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Been over here on Utah 261with no trailer?

https://youtu.be/YpC2WysOTmc
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Old 03-25-2021, 10:20 AM   #6
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Monument Valley is on my bucket list. But I want to see it with a light dusting of snow...
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Old 03-25-2021, 11:54 AM   #7
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I thought Monument Valley was closed to the public.
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Old 03-25-2021, 06:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sowhat View Post
I thought Monument Valley was closed to the public.
You are correct: all Navajo Nation parks, etc. are still closed. The closures were reiterated in the most recent order on March 11 of this year. The Navajo Nation has been severely impacted - among the worst jurisdictions in the US - by COVID, and although infection rates and deaths are on a downward trend, they're not lifting restrictions as rapidly as some places in spite of the severe economic consequences of the closures. When they do reopen, there are a number of bucket list worthy places to visit.
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:44 PM   #9
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The Moki Dugway isn't bad at all. In 2019 I followed and E19 in the up direction, and the driver handled it perfectly. There aren't many places where oncoming traffic may have to wait because the roadway is too narrow to pass. However, the ability of oncoming drivers MAY cause you to give them clear right-of-way and get out of YOUR way.
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Old 03-25-2021, 08:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StanLewis View Post
We spent a few days at this KOA back in 2019. As a campground, I recall it as your average brand new KOA. But for us, the rules for campgrounds are the same as the rules for real estate: location, location, location. By those criteria, it's a five star campground. Handy to the park for our sunrise and sunset backcountry (only accessible with a local guide) photo tours.
Stan, nice photos! That second one (sunset) has an amazing sense of depth for a flat (non-stereoscopic) photograph. Great use of foreground.
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Old 03-25-2021, 11:05 PM   #11
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Thanks for sharing. We are hoping to get there soon so it's nice to see options for camping.
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Old 03-26-2021, 06:48 AM   #12
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A few things to note.

Monument Valley is not just the Reservation. The Res. is a big part of it, but there are many entrances and ways to see it.

The Moki Dugway (hgihly recommended) is on the shuttle trip for the San Juan River trip and the Goosenecks. Everyone who does it, loves it. Which bring me to my main point.

The area is full of places to see and things to do. Cedar Mesa is very close, to the North, and mind blowing. Goosenecks S.P. is easily worth a trip there. Sand Beach on the San Jun river is right next door and lovely. Mexican Hat all by itself is worth a visit. Mexican Hat is considered the northern entrance to Monument Valley. And don't get me started about the Escalante, just to the West.

The whole place rocks. Everything South of I-70 is special.
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Old 03-26-2021, 07:48 AM   #13
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Don't get me started...
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Old 03-26-2021, 04:11 PM   #14
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Well Donna, if you were here, you'd get your wish. Drove out to Valley of the Gods and it hailed on us so we turned around since we couldn't see much with all those clouds. On the way back to camp, we hit a hail/snow storm that came on so suddenly, cars were sliding .... including us. Now the skies have cleared somewhat and the mesas and bluffs are sprinkled with snow. Cold though.

Yes, the Valley itself is closed but there are good vantage points from the roadside turnouts. Took a sunset tour last night which was not only informative but the off-road drive took us to some other great vantage points. Our guide, a member of the Navajo Nation, said he heard rumors that they were going to try opening after April.
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Old 03-26-2021, 04:16 PM   #15
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BTW, Goulding's campground looks new or redone and quite nice. No stunning views like the KOA, but you're tucked under some massive cliffs.
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Old 03-26-2021, 05:23 PM   #16
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rafting the San Juan

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleTim View Post
... San Juan River trip ...
Highly recommended, incredibly relaxing with amazing geology and archaeology hikes along the way. If you find the view from the rim of the goosenecks awesome .... try it from the river !

I was fortunate to spend 8 days on the San Juan (Sand Island to Clay Hills) with a non-commercial group of TX-based 'River Rats' who finally won the permit lottery after many years of trying.

One note of caution - segregate by 'flavor' and don't load your beverage-cooling 'drag bags' with more than you'll consume each day. The abrasive sandstone particles borne in the river will polish the labels off the aluminum cans in a few hours and by the end of a day in the river the cans are worn thin and as flexible as drink-pouches due to erosion of the metal

If you are in a Hypalon raft and are very quiet you'll hear the sound of far-away faintly tinkling wind chimes - actually that's the sound of those particles on the tightly inflated tubes of the raft.

Rafting the San Juan is like no other river trip - a truly memorable and enchanting experience.
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Old 03-26-2021, 05:50 PM   #17
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The San Juan is a nice early season and post monsoon season trip. Mid summer can find you walking stretches of the river where it's a little too shallow to ride. If you'd rather not sand off your beverages in the 'drag bag', try the Yampa or the Colorado. YMMV
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Old 03-27-2021, 05:02 AM   #18
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The San Juan is a fun river.

We ran it a few years back and reallly had a great time, however, August is monsoon season. And boy did we hit that.

We unloaded the trailers of boats at Sand Island, and the river was running 600 cubic feet per second (c.f.s.). While we were putting the boats together, the river began to rise on a clear, blue sky day.

By the time we launched, the river was running at 5,700 c.f.s.. A ten fold increase. within minutes, the river changed color and soccer balls, basketballs, oil cans and every other item you might see thrown away in any arroyo. Giant tree branches were also floating by (raft rippers).

That scene was repeated every day for seven days. Easily the dirtiest trip I have ever been on (see pic of daughter). Lots of fun but watch monsoon season (August). The locals say they can tell what arroyo flashed that day, just by the color of the water.

The ruin is Snake House (look for it).
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Old 03-27-2021, 10:39 AM   #19
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I didn't realize how lucky I was when I did the San Juan trip some 20+ years ago when in my 40's - the flow and levels were consistent and leisurely, didn't encounter any places where we were even close to dragging bottom. While the water was not always clear the suspended particles were 'coarse' and easily brushed off after swimming (not like sticky clayey silt at all), and certainly no debris encountered. I guess it's true, timing is everything (I'd have to dig through old paper journals to recall the date of our trip).

BTW, I'm no river-running expert by any stretch of the imagination, I was an invited guest of the 'river-running experts' that conducted that trip, a group of friends that included a geologist, a professor of southwestern archeology, and a professional photographer who carried a very large format 'view camera' along with 35mm (this in the era of film).

We ran the 'Taos Box' on the Rio Grande repeatedly over several days enroute to the San Juan, that and trip I made with them another year to run part of the Snake River was much more exciting 'white water' rafting, almost too much excitement for this novice!
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Old 03-27-2021, 10:52 AM   #20
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The 'Taos Box' is a class IV to V, expert only run.
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