Photography in the west of the United States is rich in discovered and strange places.

Monument Valley

The area is part of the Colorado Plateau. The floor is largely Cutler Red siltstone or its sand deposited by the meandering rivers that carved the valley. The valley's vivid red color comes from iron oxide exposed in the weathered siltstone. The darker, blue-gray rocks in the valley get their color from manganese oxide.

The buttes are clearly stratified, with three principal layers. The lowest layer is Organ Rock shale, the middle de Chelly sandstone and the top layer is Moenkopi shale capped by Shinarump siltstone. The valley includes large stone structures including the famed Eye of the Sun.

Between 1948 and 1967, the southern extent of the Monument Upwarp was mined for uranium, which occurs in scattered areas of the Shinarump siltstone; vanadium and copper are associated with uranium in some deposits.

Monument Valley, ArizonaMonument Valley is a large area, but the most scenic locations are within Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, a Navajo Nation equivalent to a national park. A visitor center, and small convenience/souvenir shop stands on the rim of the valley, and includes a restaurant. Visitors can pay an access fee and drive through the park on a 17-mile dirt road (a 2-3 hour trip). Tours are also available, and the fee varies between about $40 and $100 per person depending on the services provided and route. There are parts of Monument Valley which are only accessible by guided tour, such as Mystery Valley and Hunt's Mesa. Horseback rides are also available from various establishments both inside the park and in the general area, and rates vary widely depending on the length of the ride. Rides may be only an hour, or overnight camping trips. . Monument Valley is part of the Grand Circle, which includes the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef, Natural Bridges, Hovenweep, Arches National Park, and many other attractions. (Source Wikipedia)

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