There are not a lot of places one can go without a guide in the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. The loop road and the Wildcat Trail are exceptions, and both start at the same location. While the loop road is beautiful, it is a harsh and dusty ride on dirt roads with tour trucks and cars flying by. The Wildcat Trail, in contrast, is an amazing opportunity to enjoy Monument Valley's splendors, and the solitude and quiet is a treat that no visitor to this park should pass up. It does get very hot and dry, so an early morning or late afternoon hike is best for this trail. Additionally, the light for photos is generally much better early or late in the day.
The trailhead is right by the campground entrance and a large parking area. The first part of the trail drops down a few hundred feet to the valley floor and stays pretty level for most of the route. The views of the East and West Mittens and Merrick Butte are constant throughout the hike; in fact the trail circles completely around the West Mitten Butte, allowing for views from all sides. At the far end of the loop, formations that are hidden from the campground and the visitor center area come into view: Big Chief, Castle Butte, and The Bear and Rabbit. At some points along the trail, residences and ranches of some of the Navajo people are visible. This illustrates an aspect of the tribal park that is different from national parks. About 19 Navajo families live in Monument Valley, raising sheep and cattle and growing some crops.