Monument Valley is so famous it needs no introduction. The dirt roads are pretty awful. We were in a hire car (sports 4x4) and initially attempted the drive but the condition of the road was so poor we turned around. It was extremely bumpy and rough. It improves a little after the initial section but not much!!
Taking a tour is expensive, but not as expensive as wrecking your car. We took a three hour tour with the tour company in the parking lot by the hotel. It was still pretty bumpy but had the advantages:
1. The driver of our hire car (me) was not completely stressed out by the road. I could actually sit back and enjoy the experience.
2. You are able to visit areas in the park that self-drives cannot. We found these the most interesting.
3. We learned a lot about the park and the Navajo people from our tour guide.
If I could horseback ride I think this would have been another good option. The view from the parking lot over the valley is also great if you are pushed for time/really can't drive or afford a tour.
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