Best time to travel to Utah

Sunrise Over Monument Valley in Utah

Marveling at the sunrise is beautiful almost in any place, but when the scenery around is breathtaking itself, the view is majestic

Best time: May–September

Sunrise Over Monument Valley
Sunrise Over Monument Valley
Sunrise Over Monument Valley

Utah’s rocky deserts offer space-like scenery, like nowhere else in the world. You can find thousands of magical places within the state borders. One of the most famous spots is Monument Valley, which is often used in various commercials and films. When we are talking about perfect sunrise spots, this one deserves to be among the best. Early morning in the desert is unique, quiet, still, and just perfect. This calm scenery is truly magical. Long shadows from the first rays create especially striking views. You can sit and observe this moment forever. If you plan to visit Monument Valley, be sure to catch the picturesque moment of sunrise. The best point to enjoy it is near the Photographer’s Point. Always check the sunrise time and set off some time beforehand.

One of the best options for catching the sunrise and sunset is to stay in the area overnight. The View Campground offers fascinating experience at its wilderness camp sites overlooking the West and East Mitten Buttes. In the morning you will be woken by the rays of sun (or your alarm clock), then just unzip your sleeping bags and roll out of your tent with the whole of Monument Valley spread out before your eyes.

During peak season, from May through September, the sun rises around 6 am. That's when the park opens. That time is considered the best season for viewing and shooting the sunrise. In the summertime, the valley is open until 8 pm. During the off-season, from October on through April, you can visit this area from 8 am to 5 pm. Therefore, the best way to capture the sunset during that season is to reserve a room at The View Hotel. It's famed as the only hotel within the entire Navajo Tribal Park where all rooms, as well as the terrace, face the east. That's why it's booked up months in advance. At holidays, like Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day, the park is closed to visitors. Don’t wait for tomorrow, plan your perfect trip right now.

Practical info

When is the optimal time to explore Monument Valley, Utah?

Exploring Monument Valley in Utah is best between May and September, which allows visitors more daylight hours to explore the park since it opens from 6 am to 8 pm. During the other months, from October to April, the park opens at 8 am and closes by 5 pm, making it a shorter experience. Therefore, consider planning a visit from May to September to enjoy an un-hurried visit at the times which suit you best. Show more

What is the best location for viewing the sunrise at Monument Valley?

Near Photographer's Point is the best spot to witness the sunrise at Monument Valley. The location offers long shadows of the valley gorge carved out by the spreading sunshine. Timing is critical; visitors can experience this by visiting the park when it opens at sunrise. Helpful maps and hiking trails provided by visitor's center staff allow visitors to easily locate Photographer's Point and other viewpoints. View Campground can also provide an ideal location to see the sunrise over the valley in a more rustic setting. Show more

How can people get the most from overnight accommodation at Monument Valley?

Staying overnight at View Campground is the most authentic experience when visiting Monument Valley. The campground's campsites provide a traditional camping experience with modern facilities such as picnic tables and fire pits to make it pleasant. Unique to this location, you can experience mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets over the valley gorge. For guests seeking additional comfort, luxury accommodation is available at The View Hotel. Show more

When is Monument Valley most accessible during the year?

The park offers the most accessibility to visitors each year from May to September, with longer opening times of 6 am to 8 pm. However, during the offseason, the park opens at 8 am and closes by 5 pm. The park may also close during holidays, such as Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Consult the information supplied by the park to prepare accordingly. Show more

What must visitors do to watch the sunset during the offseason - stay at The View Hotel?

To witness the sunset in the offseason at its best, booking a room at The View Hotel would be recommended. Every room and the terrace offer stunning views of the valley gorge during sunset and sunrise. However, reserving early is advisable because of its popularity. The hotel often fills months in advance throughout the year. Hence plan ahead and reserve more in advance to get the best out of your visit to Monument Valley. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin