PRICKLY PEAR VACATION: MONUMENT VALLEY, UT


Last month we took a scenic drive up north through Flagstaff to explore Monument Valley, Utah.
It's a place we've always wanted to see in person, after seeing it in movies, ads, and from other friends traveling there - we knew during the peak of the winter season in AZ was the perfect time to getaway for a few days on an short & beautiful road trip through Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.
The first day we took a drive through Phoenix to Flagstaff and stopped for lunch at our favorite road trip spot, Diablo Burger in downtown Flagstaff. Then it took us about 2 hours longer to reach Monument Valley, where we stayed for the weekend at Goulding's Lodge. Pepper also joined on the journey and loved seeing snow for the first time. 
Monument Valley is entirely run by Navajo Nation, so the amount of Native American art, culture, and land seems to go on for miles within the Valley. Some of our favorite spots inside the Valley were the Artists Point, East/West Mitten Buttes, and hiking the Wildcat Trail, it was unlike anything we've ever seen before.
You can easily drive through the Valley on a full-day, we started early and headed back to the lodge in the evening. The next morning we woke up at sunrise to take in the views and drove a little farther north to see the "Mexican Hat" monument and get some photos at "Forrest Gump Point" which was my favorite part of the trip, it's a view everyone should experience at least once in their life.  
At the end of the trip, we truly did not want to leave. There was an endless amount of breathtaking scenery, culture, and hiking to explore in and around Monument Valley. But, we drove back down to Flagstaff and enjoyed a 1-night stay under the snow and stars in a cabin to end the weekend before driving back home. Flagstaff has become another one of our favorite cities to visit for our favorite brewery there Mother Road Brewing and possibly one of the best pizzas we've ever had at Pizzicletta.