Wildcat Trail Walkabout, Monument Valley, Navajo Tribal Park, AZ/UT

Distance: ~3.5 Loop

Elevation change: ~380 ft first section down /last section up

Difficulty: Easy for fit folks, others may struggle with the sandy terrain and the short climb at the end. Also, it’s 100% exposed so avoid when hot, and bring your hats, sunscreen & H20.

The sandy, mostly flat, Wildcat trail loops around West Mitten Butte and provides views of East Mitten Butte, Merrick Butte, and the wider cliffs of Sentinel Mesa along the way. As you enjoy the iconic Southwestern walkabout, you may get lucky as I did with an appearance of local equines. Film buffs will recognize this scenery as the backdrop for many Westerns.

I was super lucky to see a storm here. The golden light was ethereal–it appeared that the magnificent landscape was floating!

Entry Fee: $20/car for up to 4 people, and $6/additional person. No dogs allowed.

Getting there: From Mexican Hat, UT, drive south on HWY 163. You may notice the famous “Forest Gump Hill” where Forest Gump stopped running and decided to return home to Alabama and his love, Jenny. At mile 20, make a left onto Monument Valley Rd and follow it for another 3.3 miles to the Park Entry. The trailhead and sign in are at the far end of the Visitor Center parking lot towards the camping area.

If you’d prefer a car photo safari, there’s a 17-mile, scenic, dirt-road drive through the valley that you can take.  Speed limit is 15 MPH.

Happy Trails!