Geotraveller 32 – Monument Valley, USA

Monument Valley, Utah-Arizona: mesas, buttes, pinnacles, and spires in a desert landscape.

Monument Valley is an area of spectacular desert landscapes located on the Utah-Arizona border, USA. Despite covering only 13 km2, this locality is universally known, having featured in many films and television series. The mesas (flat-topped hills), buttes, pinnacles, and columns offer an idealised view of the classic scenery for which the American West is so renowned. Some of the giant sandstone blocks rise as much as 300 m above the Colorado Plateau at an elevation of between 1.800 and 1.500 m. This area is part of an extensive, uplifted terrane, rather than a valley.