Monument Valley – Photos

June 1st, 2022

Monument Valley was created from natures patient sculptures through timeless erosion.  During the Paleozoic Era – about 570 million years ago, the entire Colorado Plateau was underneath the Gulf of Mexico.

The area is a part of the Colorado Plateau, a region that covers 130,000 square miles within northwestern New Mexico, southeastern Utah, and northern Arizona. The valley floor is Cutler Red siltsone, or river-deposited sand.

The iron oxide in the weathered siltstone gives the valley its red color. The blue-gray rocks in the valley contain manganese oxide.

The sandstone layers can be clearly seen in the buttes. The lowest layer is Organ Rock shale, the middle de Chelly sandstone and the top layer is Moenkopi shale capped by Shinarump siltstone. Erosion of the soft shales of the Cutler Formation revealed the buttes as vertically jointed slabs of sandstone.

The 17 mile drive takes you to 11 pull-offs.  Number 9, Navajo Code Talker Outpost is a must stop as well as the Visitors Center Overlook.


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