You’re almost certainly familiar with Monument Valley, which for years was a mainstay of John Ford westerns. It was on my must-see list of things to photograph during my Arizona trip, but unfortunately I badly misgauged how far away it was. For some reason I thought it was about an hour from my hotel, but it was actually more like two-and-a-half hours away.

Luckily, I was determined to get there early, so I left two-and-a-half hours before sunset and got there literally in the nick of time. The pictures below were taken not from the usual vantage point to the north, but from the south so I could capture them with the reddest possible sunlight illuminating the already red rocks. The top picture shows the three rocks that are most commonly considered “Monument Valley.” The middle picture is a wider view that shows the entire outcropping. And the bottom picture is my favorite, a ruddy red shot with a beat-up house in the foreground. All of them were taken 3-7 minutes before sundown.

January 27, 2020 — Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Utah

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