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Monument Valley advisory

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owenn01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2019 at 10:45
@Coast - Joseph; please don't hold back on posting your images - I'd like to see your interpretation of this wonderful area and also see what we missed! And never be frightened by comparison - they are your images and your interpretation of what you saw at that moment; none of us can take that away from you and we can all learn from other's experiences and the images they share.

And anyway, Grand Canyon has always been a struggle for me (and we didn't get there this year) so please go ahead! ).

Best regards, Neil.
My Mantra: "Comment on other's work as you would wish to have yours commented upon". Go on - it's fun!
 



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Roger Rex View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Rex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2019 at 12:17
I have been to Monument Valley three times, the last being 10 years ago. There were none of those "vans". You either drove the loop road yourself which I have always done and with the adventure being getting out of your car and doing a bit of hiking or hired a Navajo guide who used his truck/jeep (some open air, some not). There were (are?) two other opportunities beyond driving the loop road. You could, and I assume can, hire a Navajo guide to take you into Mystery Valley adjacent to Monument Valley; you can only go there with a guide. I did this each time, the vehicle was an enclosed 4x4 and the cost was about $100-200 for an entire day, pre-sunrise to after sunset with a break for lunch. There were a handful of Navajo outfitters that provided this service and Mystery Valley provided its own very special locations. Last, and I have not been, is Hunt's Mesa, again, requiring a Navajo guide or authorized outfitter. It is an overnight trip, costly, physically demanding (a VERY rough ride), and results in mind-numbing vistas at sunset and sunrise.

Lastly, Monument Valley is NOT a national park (i.e., it is not owned by the U.S. government and us taxpayers). In fact, without getting political, it is the furthest thing politically from a national park, it is Navajo Nation land. While photography was the reason that brought me to Monument Valley and brought me back, a very special, for me, factor was the time spent with a Navajo guide for a day each time - interesting, revealing, engaging.

I absolutely do NOT recommend visiting Monument Valley, especially and appropriately unfriendly to Europeans (Neil, stay home)!    
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owenn01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2019 at 12:30
Originally posted by Roger Rex Roger Rex wrote:

I have been to Monument Valley three times, the last being 10 years ago. There were none of those "vans". You either drove the loop road yourself which I have always done and with the adventure being getting out of your car and doing a bit of hiking or hired a Navajo guide who used his truck/jeep (some open air, some not). There were (are?) two other opportunities beyond driving the loop road. You could, and I assume can, hire a Navajo guide to take you into Mystery Valley adjacent to Monument Valley; you can only go there with a guide. I did this each time, the vehicle was an enclosed 4x4 and the cost was about $100-200 for an entire day, pre-sunrise to after sunset with a break for lunch. There were a handful of Navajo outfitters that provided this service and Mystery Valley provided its own very special locations. Last, and I have not been, is Hunt's Mesa, again, requiring a Navajo guide or authorized outfitter. It is an overnight trip, costly, physically demanding (a VERY rough ride), and results in mind-numbing vistas at sunset and sunrise.

Lastly, Monument Valley is NOT a national park (i.e., it is not owned by the U.S. government and us taxpayers). In fact, without getting political, it is the furthest thing politically from a national park, it is Navajo Nation land. While photography was the reason that brought me to Monument Valley and brought me back, a very special, for me, factor was the time spent with a Navajo guide for a day each time - interesting, revealing, engaging.

I absolutely do NOT recommend visiting Monument Valley, especially and appropriately unfriendly to Europeans (Neil, stay home)!    


A very appropriate set of comments here Roger and I too am guilty of appropriating the term 'National Park' to Monument Valley as I suspect many do, for which I apologise.

We didn't hire a Navajo guide as we didn't feel we had the time; on reflection, that would be a good thing to do at so many different levels (we did at a later location - more to come from that) and one suspects that a lot more is learned about the wider context of the park and life in general for them that way. As for Hunt's Mesa, I suspect we may never experience that but I have seen images and it appears well worth the not inconsiderable effort needed to get there - the views and overall location is just stunning.

As for not visiting Monument Valley - too late!!

thanks for the valuable update and best regards,

Neil.
My Mantra: "Comment on other's work as you would wish to have yours commented upon". Go on - it's fun!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kefkafloyd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2019 at 14:26
Originally posted by owenn01 owenn01 wrote:


@kefkafloyd - if you are interested in going to Yellowstone for a winter visit, let me know as we've done it as part of an organised group but I know there are strict limitations on accessibility etc. and I can share some experiences if that helps.

Best regards, Neil.


Yes, I'm familiar with the restrictions and difficulties of yellowstone in winter. Unfortunately this coming winter won't be it (I'm spending all my vacation time going to Ireland in October) but it's on my docket for a some day trip. The offer of assistance is greatly appreciated, the more info for those kinds of things is better. Any tips or information would be welcome.

It would be the only trip that would convince me to rent/borrow a 500 f/4 (or, if I switch to E-mount by then, a 400 f/2.8).
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Coast View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Coast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2019 at 23:58
Originally posted by owenn01 owenn01 wrote:

@Coast - Joseph; please don't hold back on posting your images - I'd like to see your interpretation of this wonderful area and also see what we missed! And never be frightened by comparison - they are your images and your interpretation of what you saw at that moment; none of us can take that away from you and we can all learn from other's experiences and the images they share.

And anyway, Grand Canyon has always been a struggle for me (and we didn't get there this year) so please go ahead! ).

Best regards, Neil.

Thanks Neil,
I appreciate the kind words and encouragement. Considering I'm only an amateur hobbiest, there is no way I will post my MV photos next to yours. I didn't even have the luck of the weather you did, despite being there probably the next day.
I will be gathering my Grand Canyon photos to post. Your right the Grand Canyon has always been a struggle for me too, but this time I had the luck and had a fantastic time. The countless times I had been there I had never seen it so "Grand".

Your thoughts on Yosemite however perplexed me a little
Originally posted by owenn01 owenn01 wrote:


Yosemite: Little experience other than a short stay in 2000 with the family. Even then it was busy and we looked in 2017 to go in 2018 rather than Utah and couldn't get in. Like anywhere. I suspect that speaks for itself. It also, like Yellowstone, has a compacted season due to weather etc. and if the higher pass isn't open then it squeezes everyone into a smaller location which is only going to make the situation worse.

You may (may not?) be disappointed to hear I will not be showing any images of Horseshoe Bend just south of Page.   
Best regards, Neil.


By "couldn't get in, like anywhere" you mean a room to stay, somewhere in the Valley? The Gate is open year round,
well there are many resort areas just outside the Park. Towns like, Midpines, Mariposa, I would recommend the Bass Lake Resorts on the Southern route. The road to Yosemite from there is probably one of the most beautiful you will ever be on. If Tioga Pass is open, Mammoth and Bridgeport would be an option for me which would take you to Mono Lake. A must see if you will be in Yosemite or any of the resorts along the road 395. Bodie Ghost Town is right there as you know. You will get a better feel for the area. If its closed there shouldn't be that much traffic in the Valley because its off season.

Yosemite is open year round and I can honestly say, there is no bad time to visit Yosemite! You will always be rewarded one way or another. Just don't go on the main 2 or 3 holidays

And Neil, I would not be at all disappointed w you not showing a Horseshoe Bend shot. It has become a very boring one to me by now

Originally posted by Roger Rex Roger Rex wrote:


Lastly, Monument Valley is NOT a national park (i.e., it is not owned by the U.S. government and us taxpayers). In fact, without getting political, it is the furthest thing politically from a national park, it is Navajo Nation land. While photography was the reason that brought me to Monument Valley and brought me back, a very special, for me, factor was the time spent with a Navajo guide for a day each time - interesting, revealing, engaging.

I absolutely do NOT recommend visiting Monument Valley, especially and appropriately unfriendly to Europeans (Neil, stay home)!    


Roger,
Thanks for correcting us on the status of MV, although when one is in these places it is hard to distinguish amongst the labels. I know its an important distinction. I dare say that your experience today sounds like it would be Much! different than in the past

thanks guys
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