MONDAY, JUNE 7, 2010:

All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

Before leaving the Grand Canyon on Monday morning I took a helicopter tour with Maverick Helicopters.
My Canyon Spirit tour departed from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Upon reaching the edge of the canyon, the South Rim gently drops away
as the North Rim and eastern end of the canyon come into view.
The journey continued as we followed the Colorado River to where it merges with the Little Colorado River.
We viewed Marble Canyon and Point Imperial as we flew through the canyon and climbed above the North Rim.
Me and my Maverick Helicopter pilot Colorado River running through Grand Canyon from helicopter Point Imperial on North Rim of Grand Canyon from helicopter

We experienced fabulous bird's-eye views once on the North Rim, and then head south
through the Dragon Corridor, the widest and deepest part of the canyon.
As we crossed over the Colorado River, we flew over the South Rim
and the Kaibab National Forest landing back at the Grand Canyon Airport.
Forest on North Rim of Grand Canyon from helicopter Grand Canyon from helicopter Grand Canyon from helicopter

I had to battle some glare from the windows and some bumps in the air to capture the flight video below.

I would drive a total of 185 miles today.

After the helicopter tour it was a 180 mile drive across the Arizona desert to Monument Valley.
I passed Agathia Peak about 15 miles south of the Navajo Nation tribal park.
Monument Valley is a Navajo Nation tribal park, straddling the border of northeastern Arizona and
southeastern Utah of the Colorado Plateau. It preserves the Navajo way of life and some of the most
striking and recognizable landscapes of sandstone buttes, mesas and spires in the entire Southwest.
The area is entirely within the Navajo Indian Reservation near the small Indian town of Goulding.
Agathia Peak, near Monument Valley The Mittens and Merrick Butte in Monument Valley Monument Valley

The view from the visitor center is quite spectacular,
but most of the park can only be seen from the 17-mile dirt road.

The scenic drive goes southeast among the cliffs and mesas.
The road can be very rough at times but is worth the effort.
John Ford Point in Monument Valley Me in Monument Valley Monument Valley

Monument Valley became world famous when it was featured in many western film classics,
including John Ford's Stagecoach, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Cheyenne Autumn.
The Navajo Nation established the tribal park that includes dramatic buttes, mesas and monoliths.
Monument Valley Monument Valley Monument Valley

The View Hotel, where I stayed, is a Navajo owned business located within the Navajo Nation
and the Navajo Tribal park at Monument Valley. It opened in December 2008 and features carefully
designed accommodations that serve the needs of visitors from around the world while blending
with the environment so as not to detract from the beauty of Monument Valley.
Each room has a private eastern facing balcony with views unlike anywhere else in world.
The View Hotel in Monument Valley The View Hotel in Monument Valley The View Hotel in Monument Valley

The four minute video below is of the new View Hotel at Monument Valley.

I ended my day by watching the sunset from the hotel.
Sunset in Monument Valley Sunset in Monument Valley Sunset in Monument Valley

I especially like the beginning of the eleven minute video below showing sunrise at Monument Valley.


This morning I finished things up at the Grand Canyon with a helicopter tour.

Me with the pilot of my Grand Canyon helicopter tour

It was a spectacular tour. In the picture below we are flying over Imperial Point on the North Rim.

Flying over Imperial Point on North Rim of Grand Canyon

Next I drove 185 miles to Monument Valley. 15 miles south of Monument Valley I passed Agathia Peak which is pictured below.

Agathia Peak Near Monument Valley

Monument Valley is on the Arizona/Utah border. I checked into my hotel in the Navajo Nation tribal park.

The View Hotel in the Navajo Nation tribal park

Below are the Mittens and Merrick Butte. This is the amazing view from the balcony of my hotel room.

Mittens and Merrick Butte in the Navajo Nation tribal park

After getting settled at the hotel I drove the scenic 17-mile drive.

Monument Valley

The monuments in the park have descriptive names. They are based on ones imagination. These names were created by the early settlers of Monument Valley. Others names portray a certain meaning to the Navajo people. The park consists of mesas, buttes and spire rock structures.

Monument Valley

Then after my drive I watched the sun set from the grounds at the hotel.

Sunset at Monument Valley

It was another fantastic day.

Sunset at Monument Valley

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