Goulding's Lodge & Campground, Monument Valley, Utah

We had heard from a friend that Monument Valley, part of the Navajo Nation, is a great place to visit, but more of a place to "drive through and see" without a stopover. We decided, however, to reserve two nights in the valley since time allowed. Goulding's Lodge is set amongst an amazing setting with huge sandstone walls, spectacular views of the valley and lots of history about the film industry, the Navajo, and early settlers. Our drive into the valley was amazing, as our friends had eluded to, but we were glad we had decided to stay at Goulding's Campground which offers views like no other place we have been to. Goulding's Lodge has quite a history with the settlement of an adventurous couple back a century ago, Harry and "Mike" Goulding. With this settlement came
a rich history of film in the Valley, which still exists today. Many old John Wayne westerns, as well as modern classics (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future III) and commercials (Geico) have filmed scenes here. Goulding's Lodge offers simple rooms with amazing views. We bypassed the lodge and headed deeper into a crevice of sandstone walls where we found our campground awaiting us. Not sure what to expect, we found a top-notch campground with beautiful landscaping, full-hookup sites, picnic tables at each site, a small convenience store, laundromat, small indoor pool, paved interior roads, gravel pads and most of all, stunning views from every site. The owners did a nice job laying out the sites here, as they tiered the sites giving all campsites the views everyone came for. Several hikes lead from camp, which we enjoyed exploring, and our favorite was to a hidden arch which reminded us of another favorite, Arches National Park. We enjoyed our first night so much here, that we decided to extend our stay another 2 nights instead of one, and we were glad we did. Each afternoon sites filled with all types of rigs, tenters, and people staying in the small cabins available, and we were glad we had made reservations as our last night (a Friday in Spring), the campground was left with only a site or two available. Most people seemed to stay one night, however we enjoyed slowing down here, hiking the trails, and mostly just sitting out and enjoying the views. This well kept campground (we saw gardeners each morning maintaining landscape) is about a 1/2 mile from Goulding's Lodge where you can find a cafeteria, museum, theater with nightly showings of John Wayne classics filmed in the Valley, a gas  offering propane fill, and a very well stocked market where you could easily load up on supplies. Tours of the Valley run from camp each day, as well as a free shuttle in the evenings down to the lodge area.  The Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Visitor's Center is a few miles from camp, and offers a closer view and history of the Valley. A nominal fee is charged to enter the facility, and a 17 mile dirt road loop leads through the sandstone sculptures. The road is not recommended for RVs or sedan style vehicles, although we saw just about everything going down that bumpy road. If you'd rather just enjoy the views and save your suspension, you can hire a Navajo guide who will also take you into more restricted areas of the park which require a Navajo to access. We opted to just enjoy the views from the Visitor's Center, tour the museum, peruse the gift shop and marvel at the natural beauty of it all. A lodge and dining hall are available at the Visitor's Center as well.

Location
Best Sites: All
Poor Sites: None
Hookups: Water, Electric & Sewer
Potable Water: Yes
Dump Within Facility: Yes

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