What to take to Monument Valley?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by HarryS, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I'm OK with my cameras. First I got to decide which car to drive out there from Illinois. My Honda Pilot has got 120K miles. Big, but old. I'm leaning toward my VW Jetta. There's 1400 miles to get to Utah, and it's a nice driver. Bryce, Arches, Zion are also stops. Very limited hiking is planned. I would like to take a guided tour in the Valley. My wife thinks the loop drive is a lot cheaper. Either way, we'll be there at oh-dark-thirty to see the sunrise.

    So add plenty of water, and lots of cash. We'll figure it out when we get close.

    I'll put the 9-18 zoom on my EPL5 and rotate the 7.5 fisheye and 14-42 on the EM5. I'll have all my small lenses with me, kit 40-150, 14mm pancake, 17mm and 45mm. Will pack my FD50 and FD85 too. They deserve a a peek at the southwest.
  2. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    Once you get out this way, there are miles of dirt road to explore and the Honda would be a much better choice, just in case you choose to get off the beaten path.
  3. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Real Name:
    +1. Google Valley of the Gods Road and Moki Dugway. You don't want to miss those. You might be able to do them in your car, but it will depend on conditions. When I was there (on a dual sport motorcycle), I rode past a dejected looking man standing beside his rental car. He was turning around because his car couldn't make it past a minor washout.
  4. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I went to Arizona recently, all I needed was E-M10 and Panny 12-32mm for both stills and video. It is liberating not needing to change lenses when traveling. I did use Oly 45mm for a few environmental portraits.
  5. DMLarson

    DMLarson Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 19, 2014
    East Idaho
    Real Name:
    You have plenty of good wide angles to choose from. I would also highly recommend you take the 40-150mm. In the wide open deserts, especially Monument Valley, you can get some great compressed shots with a telephoto.
  6. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Thanks for the inputs. I watched some youtube videos about Valley of the Gods. Hope to see it. While the Pilot is no off roader, you guys are right. It will be a better choice.
  7. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Real Name:
    We're going in 3 weeks. Takin' the Forrester. Picking up some new tires in OR on the way.
  8. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Leaving in early May. New tires and an alignment a year ago. I better get a new timing belt too. Maybe we'll cross paths.
  9. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    If you can manage it, a night at the View Hotel is well worth the money, if you can get a room on the valley side. All the rooms have balconies and watching the light change over the valley as the sun sets is amazing. The colors change minute by minute. When I was there last June, I arrived during a sand/wind storm, and the colors were muted by the dust (but amazing!). The morning was crystal clear and still, and the colors were crisp and vivid. That's when I drove on the loop road (Honda Element — had to go slowly in some areas, but no problems). I used my wide angle almost exclusively.

    I just realized my profile pic is that was taken of me that morning on the loop road.

    If you decide to stay there, keep checking even if the website says the hotel is full. Rooms frequently open up. I got a valley-side room reservation 2 days before I was going to be in the area.
  10. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I took the Pilot. Thanks for steering me straight. Here we are in the Valley of the Gods. My wife said "Look, are those car parts on the ground?". It was not that bad. Quite bumpy in some spots, and going up some of the upgrades, I hoped no one was coming as I couldn't see over the hood. We also went up the Moki Dugway to the Muley Point lookout. I can drive a car on that road, but can't get within 6 feet of a cliff edge in my shoes.

    Near Monument Valley, we stayed at the Recapture Lodge in Bluff. Nice owners. Recommended. We drove to Monument Valley before dawn, stopped a few miles away as the sun came up. At the Tribal center at 6:45AM, nothing was open. No one at the gate to take our money. Trail drive was gated off. As we wanted to be back in Bluff by noon, we didn't stay for breakfast as planned. The Valley of the Gods had to be the substitute.

    What was awesome was the drive from Natural bridges Monument up toward Capitol Reef National Park. Definitely one of the prettiest drives in the USA, especially in Glen Canyon. This is off the scenic drive in Capitol Reef.

    Brought plenty of batteries for my M43 cameras, but could use an extra charger. Got two specks, big ones, of red dust into my EPM1. Rocket blower won't take them off. I packed it away. Mainly using the 9-18 and the lowly 14-42.

    Fell off a horse too, but am fine.
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