Road Trip America’s Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips (Monument Valley)

by Rick Quinn

Monument Valley

From page 245, in Part 3 of the book. Pictured are the formations, Yei Bi Chei and the Totem Pole in Monument Valley, Utah.

SST 16—Holbrook, Arizona to Gallup, New Mexico through the Heart of the Navajo Nation. This trip is 441 miles, 9 hours 15 minutes for drive time, more for optional routes, stops, and sightseeing. It takes in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Monument Valley, Navajo Route 13 and the Lukachukai Mountains, Shiprock, and Gallup, New Mexico.

Monument Valley is the quintessential Southwestern landscape. It’s not that big, perhaps 5 square miles, and yet somehow this swath of landscape has come to define the world’s image of the entire Colorado Plateau.

Author picture

Rick Quinn was born and raised in Arizona, earned a degree in anthropology, then hit the road, indulging an admittedly peculiar whim by hitch-hiking to Tierra del Fuego. In one way or another, he’s been on the road ever since, living in a dozen diverse locales, from Paris to Peru, San Francisco to Washington D.C., working as a photographer, a coffee farmer, a magazine writer, a postman, a novelist, and, until his recent retirement, a corporate-level financial systems expert with the Postal Service. Rick is a veteran road tripper who has driven both the Alaska Highway and the Pan American. Currently, he’s a travel blogger, a landscape photographer, and a contributing writer for