Next morning, Friday 21 June 2013, check-out is 11am Utah time, which is our 10am because we decided not to bother changing the time from Arizona time.
Apart from the Monument Valley 17 mile loop there is another loop drive that is really worth doing. The Valley of the Gods is a beautiful drive north of Mexican Hat. Apparently, it is not recommended if it is raining, but that definitely wasn’t an issue for us. You need to take the drive slowly, it is mainly OK, especially if you are used to the Irish potholed/old ramps roads. There are some hairy bends and blind hills where you could consider sounding the car horn before going around them. It is also far less crowded than the Monument Valley route, but we did met a few cars along the way. Thankfully they were all on easy stretches of the road. We really enjoyed the drive.
Then Pádraig got a brain wave. He saw a route on the map that would get us to Page via an alternative route. This would mean that we would get a different view rather than going back the same road we came towards Tuba City. It would also mean missing some of the extra traffic on the detour route. So basically you turn off the main 160 route onto the 564 which is not a bad road at all towards the Navajo National Monument. This road brings you onto the 221 Indian Route….. This is like driving through sand dunes. It put the drive through the Valley of the Gods in the shade for its bumpy ride factor. It is mainly sandy road. I wouldn’t recommend without a good car and a confident driver. That said, a school bus pulled out of a side road in front of us, so if it is OK for transporting school children, perhaps it is OK for ordinary vehicles?
It was a bit of fun, but I don’t think it was worth the detour. I would also say that there are many signs warning that it can be impassable if it is flooded.