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Wildcat Trail - Monument Valley, AZ

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Guide 11 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northeast > Hotevilla
3.9 of 5 by 7
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 3.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,426 feet
Elevation Gain 300 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.7
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
8  2018-09-04 Tortoise_Hiker
21  2018-06-02 Mudhole
15  2017-09-22 Uncharted
3  2015-08-21 Hippy
29  2014-05-28 outdoor_lover
26  2011-06-25 kinderhart
13  2010-05-23 PaleoRob
8  2008-06-26 rally_toad
Author rally_toad
author avatar Guides 21
Routes 4
Photos 512
Trips 422 map ( 2,598 miles )
Age 28 Male Gender
Location Boulder City, NV
Associated Areas
list map done
Navajo Nation Reservation
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, May
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Summer
Sun  6:07am - 6:19pm
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
These mittens are not for wearing
by rally_toad

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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2008-07-03 rally_toad
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Wildcat Trail - Monument Valley
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    While headed up to the Navajo National Monument for a same-day hike to see the Keet Seel ruins, we took a road trip the day before to check out Monument Valley. We decided to do a sunset hike on the Wildcat Trail for some evening photography and to enjoy hiking around one of the monuments close to the visitor center. This hike was a real treat, and we spent a good 4 hours taking tons of pictures on this little 4.3 mile lollipop loop.

    Highly recommended, but be ready to trudge up and down in some really fine sand.
    Wildcat Trail - Monument Valley
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Day 6 Part 2: The Hike

    After finishing the Scenic Drive, it was time to Hike some of the Valley...The Weather was...interesting...Blowing Sand and the Threat of Rain...This is the only Hike that you can legally do in the Park without a Guide, so I was going for it...

    I signed in at the Information Window inside the Visitor's Center (a requirement) and headed out making sure to take a Rain Poncho with...It tried to Rain a couple of times on this Hike, but never got with it enough for me to pull the Poncho out and cover up the Camera...And it was actually good that when I dropped into the Valley, the blowing Sand almost completely subsided, with the Temps being really nice...

    I had read some Comments on the Sign-In Sheet and the Guy before me had complained that the Trail was not well marked and he finally turned around...Hmmmm....He must not Hike much... :lol: Between the Trail Lined Rocks, the Cairns and the Painted White Rocks, some with Arrows, I had no Trouble...Even if I didn't have any of those 3 things, the Trail is worn enough to follow just fine...The only Place where the Markers were really helpful was when the Trail would enter, follow and exit a Wash...I actually thought they did a great Job with this Trail...

    Basically, this Trail does a Lasso Loop around the West "Mitten", so you get to see it from all Sides...The Mittens, when you look at them from the Overlook, are Left and Right Handed...At one Point in the Hike they are both Right-Handed... :D And there is a long, narrow Gap in the Mitten that I'll bet a lot of people don't ever see...

    This was a really nice Hike! Probably made even nicer by the Weather...90+ Degrees with no Shade on a Sunny Day and this would have been a lot warmer....Lots of Views and Scenery and I was the only one out there...Hard to beat all of that... :)

    Several Different Types of Shrubs out there Blooming
    Wildcat Trail - Monument Valley
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    What a windy crazy day. Had a friend visiting from St. George who is moving back to the Midwest in a week, so we decided to have a farewell bash. Unfortunately the wind put the kibosh on most of our plans. Horseshoe Bend? Nope. Spencer Trail? Nope. Hackberry? Nope. Paria? Nope. So we decided to take a drive where we wouldn't be inhaling dust and treading through sand. Where to? Which direction? Should we head to Cameron and Tuba City? Always windy and dusty and sandy. I want to do some hiking, but I don't want to be coughing mud at the end of the trip. Our friend wanted Navajo Tacos and there's a possibility that Monument Valley would be less windy than Tuba, so off down 98 we went. Things were breezy but nothing atrocious as we crossed the Kaibeto and Rainbow plateaus. As we passed the Shonto turnoff, though, things became ominous. A brown haze covered the Klethla valley, and turning onto 163 did nothing to ease our fears. The dirt lowered as we approached Tsegi, and by the time we had emerged from Marsh Pass it was so windy and dusty that we couldn't see Kayenta until we reached the city limits.
    Undeterred, we made a pit stop at McDonalds and Wells Fargo, and then hit the road again, thinking of Navajo Tacos at Gouldings. Passing Owl Rock the conditions got even worse. As we drove into Monument Valley, we could barely make out any of the fabled monuments - just dim shapes rising out of the murk. We stopped into Gouldings for our tacos and had a window seat - a view to brown nothingness. After our late lunch, we contemplated just heading home, but instead we were all intrigued by the Mars-esque appearance of the valley so we paid our $5/person and dropped down into the Monument Valley Dust Bowl.
    It was spooky and eerie. Red stone rising from brown dust, winds blasting the truck, we peered through windows peppered with flying sand. We made occasional stops, and even ventured out of the truck a couple of times. We were rewarded with sand in the ears, pebbles to the calves, and nearly blew the door off the truck. We wanted to go see North Window, so along the viewpoint trail Sarah and I went. It was calm in the lee of the cliff. As we looked out into the haze, we heard a loud crack! "Oh poo mess" I said, as I turned to face the cliff to see a boulder the size of my torso plummet to the talus directly above us. Several shards of rock flew away from the impact zone, and one grazed my shoulder, but fortunately the main rock stayed put. We immediately determined that we were satisfied with our view and raced back to the truck.
    We continued our tour and finally made our way back to the poorly-designed visitor center. After a restroom break, we were back on the road, winding our way through the dust back to Page.

    Permit $$
    Navajo Recreation Permit $5 per person per day, camping $5 per person per day. Study the Permit Details

    Navajo Nation Reservation
    Navajo Permits & Services

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Kayenta turn left on 163. Follow 163 for until you cross the Utah border, shortly after crossing the border you will see a sign pointing to Monument Valley Tribal Park on the right. Turn right and you will cross the state line again. Monument Valley is BARELY in Arizona. You have to pay a per person entrance fee. The Wildcat trailhead is north of the visitors center parking lot. Instead of taking a turn for the scenic loop drive go straight and follow signs for the Wildcat Trail.
    page created by rally_toad on Jul 02 2008 8:39 am
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