Sunrise in Monument Valley


My alarm sounded, as usual, an hour before sunrise. I was expecting it to still be too dark to start shooting, but I wanted to make sure I was in the right place at the right time. Before I even had chance to unzip the tent door I caught a glimpse of the already glowing sky through our small mesh window.

Worried that I'd somehow got the time wrong, I threw some clothes on, not bothering with socks or shoes, and clambered out into the orange light.

With cool sand between my toes I ran a few steps away from the tent and captured this early morning moment..

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I wasn't late to the show. In Monument Valley the show starts early. With an incredibly flat and empty horizon, the sky starts to brighten and turn orange well before the sun appears.

As sunrise drew closer the sky continued to brighten, merging into softer, less dramatic colours. My rule is to be ready an hour before the sun is set to appear to see the best colour and light. Monument Valley showed me that it’s sometimes worth breaking the rules to see something extra special.

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The View Campground has to be one of the most scenic campsites in the world. It was the perfect spot to watch the show. Now that I think about, it was also pretty perfect during the day, at sunset, and late at night as the milky way moved overhead!

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Monument Valley was the sixth stop on The Big Trip. Click here to follow the rest of our journey as we spend 3 months exploring America’s most beautiful National Parks. You can also become a patron for The Big Trip and help support us as we continue our adventure, sharing more photos, stories and travel guides as we go.