These mittens are not for wearing
You drove a long way to see Monument Valley. Now get out of your car! The Wildcat loop trail is the only trail you can take in Monument Valley without a Native American guide. It is a 3.2 mile lasso loop trail that loops around the West Mitten and gives you spectacular views of both East and West Mittens and the rest of Monument Valley. I was surprised to find no one else on this hike. I guess most people just prefer the drive through Monument Valley, and don't want to take the extra hour or two to do this wonderful hike. That's totally fine with me! The less people the better!
Start the hike from the parking lot for the primitive campground. From here you descend into Monument Valley. The views of West Mitten from this point are awesome. Along the trail signs identify the various plant species that are found on the hike. After 10 minutes or less you will come to the loop portion of the hike. A sign points right for the Wildcat Trail. Turn right and start the loop. To your north will be West Mitten. The views from down here are even better. Eventually the trail enters a wash and follows it for a while. Before to long cairns and a sign pointing to the trail will point the way out of the wash. Now West Mitten is to the West and East Mitten is to the East. These are the best views of East Mitten. It could be the closest one can get to East Mitten without breaking the law. Before too long you will pass a sign which may be broken, indicating that you have travelled 2 miles. Shortly after this sign you will follow another wash, once again follow the cairns and the signs and you will be fine. There is a third and final wash crossing as you near the end of the loop portion of the hike. From the end of the loop continue up the hill to the parking lot. This hill should get your heart beating faster and get you huffing and puffing but its not difficult. Before you know it your back at the parking lot.
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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