Monumental Valley View
Stay off private property. Property is not marked by fences. Locals are not happy with hikers. Absolutely do not approach any water tower, any home or any structure period. If you see people in the distance within a half mile of any house run(away) for your life. Due to vandalism and safety issues HAZ does not recommend this hike period!
The four corners area is a long drive for a Phoenix day hiker but the view from the top of Black Mesa is spectacular when the time of year and weather are right. I was fortunate to have a perfect day when the temperature was mild, there had been recent rain clearing the air but not leaving impassible mud and the winter rains had left a carpet of green plants throughout Monument valley. This is definitely a hike for the photographers as the views of the valley start early and just get better as you climb the trail up to the top of the Mesa. Placed boldly on the green carpet are the red sandstone monuments jutting out of the floor into the deep blue sky sprinkled with fluffy clouds. You cant see as far as you can from the top of Humphries, but you can see a lot more.
Be very careful accessing this area. Stay a quarter of a mile away from any home. Each trail follows a gentle dirt ridge and they come together about one half mile towards the mesa. Then the single trail follows the top of a single ridge towards the mountain. There is an interesting stretch where the ridge narrows to about 10 feet with interesting steep views to each side. There is a trail junction about 1 mile from the junction. Go left and follow the well marked trail. The only confusion is that it is somewhat overgrown in places which requires a bit of bushwhacking. The trail runs through a lot of shade and the views of the valley are frequent. The steep part of the trail starts as a big switchback and gets progressively steeper with shorter legs to the switchbacks until finally it pops over the top at N36 39.114 W110 16.715. Kayenta point is about a quarter mile south west but the actual summit is about 0.8 miles east along the mesa rim at N36 39.086 W110 15.784 at an altitude of 8168 feet. There is no trail to the summit but it is a nice walk in the relatively open woods. Reverse course to the beginning.
This is a hike that should be done when it is dry and spring or fall. During the summer it is hot and subject to afternoon thunder storms so it is best to start early when the air is calm, clear and free of lightning. Also, I would not try to drive the dirt roads in the rain unless you want to try out your mud tires, 4WD and high clearance vehicle.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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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