Monument Valley is the classic wild western scenery, used in countless of movies. The jaw-dropping views will transport you to another place. Today, it is part of the Navajo nation.
I don’t know about you, but I love to read books about the places I travel. I usually read a mix of fiction and non-fiction, in addition to guide books and the occasional coffee table keepsake.
Here is my top pick for the best books about Monument Valley to inspire you before you go, keep you entertained while you are there and help preserve your memories after you return home.
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This book provides an insight into a pivotal time in the history of Monument Valley. It tells the story of Harry Goulding (called ‘Tall Sheep’ by the Navajo people) who ran a trading post with his wife Mike in Monument Valley from 1925 to 1963.
The Goulding Hotel still exists today. Their story is set amidst the backdrop of the establishment of a Navajo tribal government and the introduction of a cash-based society, the construction of roads and the mining of uranium, forced stock reduction for the Navajos to limit overgrazing, and the height of the Westerns film industry based in Monument Valley.
It was a fascinating time in history and the personal stories of the Gouldings and the Navajo people is equally fascinating.
Rock with Wings (2015), Anne Hillerman
This is a fun murder mystery set in Monument Valley and nearby Spider Rock, featuring Navajo tribal police as the crime solvers. It’s billed as a Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito Novel after the three main characters. The author also wrote the New York Times bestselling book Spider Woman’s Daughter.
This is the perfect vacation read – nothing too serious, but set in your vacation destination, which helps bring it to life.
Monument Valley: Navajo Nation Natural Wonder (2015), A. Markward, D. Muench
This is a great coffee table book. The beautiful photos and accompanying text capture both the natural and human story of Monument Valley.
Breathtaking photos of the landscape and more intimate photos of the Navajo people make this a wonderful keepsake of your vacation to Monument Valley.
Are you planning to travel to Monument Valley? Check out my Guide to Monument Valley.
If you love reading about national parks, check out more books about national parks.
Do you have any other books about Monument Valley that you recommend? Join my private Facebook group National Parks Collectors and comment and let me know.
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James Ian is a national park, camping and hiking expert.
He has dedicated his life to travel, visiting more than 80 countries, all 7 continents and all of the main national parks in the United States. With over 35 years experience in the travel industry, James has worked on cruise ships, at resorts and hotels, and as a travel planner who’s helped hundreds of people plan successful trips to US national parks.
Based on his experience visiting our national parks multiple times, in-depth research and expertise as a travel planner, James has published detailed itineraries for most of the major national parks in the US. These itineraries, as well as in-depth park guides, comprehensive camping and hiking gear reviews and buying guides, and helpful packing lists and gift guides will help you have your own incredible trip to US national parks without stress and hassle.
As a national park expert, James has contributed to many publications, including Time Business News, Savoteur, Best Trip, and Wired.
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