Wildcat Trail Hike

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Colorado Plateau, Arizona

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Wildcat Trail Hike
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  • The Wildcat Trail is a great opportunity to walk among the giants.- Wildcat Trail Hike
  • Trailhead is well marked.- Wildcat Trail Hike
  • View from the trail below of the cabins at The View hotel and campground. - Wildcat Trail Hike
  • After a short downhill leg, the junction for the loop is reached.- Wildcat Trail Hike
  • Left to right: West Mitten Butte, East Mitten Butte, Merrick Butte, and Elephant Butte.- Wildcat Trail Hike
  • Blooming cactus.- Wildcat Trail Hike
  • West Mitten Butte from a less-photographed angle.- Wildcat Trail Hike
  • Unknown purpose for this structure along the trail, but the view is great.- Wildcat Trail Hike
  • The stone monoliths of Monument Valley are spectacular from any angle.- Wildcat Trail Hike
  • Guided trail rides on Navajo horses are available throughout the valley.- Wildcat Trail Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Spectacular scenery. Few other visitors.
Cons: 
Very hot in summer.
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Region:
Colorado Plateau, AZ
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
386.00 ft (117.65 m)
Parking Pass: 
Navajo Park Pass (per vehicle)
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Suitable for: 
Hiking
Total Distance: 
4.10 mi (6.60 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,510.00 ft (1,679.45 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

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. 

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

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