List of appearances of Monument Valley in the media

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Monument Valley, located on the Navajo Nation within Arizona and Utah, has been featured in many forms of media since the 1930s. It is perhaps most famous for its use in many John Ford films, such as Stagecoach (1939) and The Searchers (1956). It has also been featured in such films as Easy Rider (1969), directed by and co-starring Dennis Hopper; Forrest Gump (1994), directed by Robert Zemeckis, and The Eiger Sanction (1975), directed by and starring Clint Eastwood; and in two episodes of the popular United Kingdom television show Doctor Who: "The Impossible Astronaut" (23 April 2011) and "Day of the Moon" (30 April 2011).

The twin buttes of Monument Valley ("the Mittens"), the "Totem Pole", and the "Ear of the Wind" arch, among other features, have developed iconic status. They have appeared in many television programs, commercials, and Hollywood movies, especially Westerns.[citation needed]

Monument Valley Panorama, taken from the Visitor Center and showing "the Mittens", Merrick Butte and the road which makes a loop-tour through the Park

Motion pictures[edit]


John Ford's Point in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park



  • The rugged desert scenery for the Coyote and Road Runner (1949-) cartoons takes much of its inspiration from Monument Valley.
  • In the 1978 Super Friends episode "The Pied Piper from Space", alien space ships abduct children, including the Wonder Twins, and they board the spaceships at Monument Valley.
  • In the 1980s American action/espionage television series Airwolf, a hollowed butte is portrayed as the secret hiding place ("The Lair") of the eponymous high-tech military helicopter. Monument Valley is renamed the "Valley of the Gods" in this series. The actual Valley of the Gods is a few miles north in Utah. The shots of The Lair were actually a mix of matte paintings and shots from three locations within close proximity of each other.
  • The MacGyver episode "Eagles" (Season 2, Episode 8) has shots in the Valley. MacGyver is gathering eggs from an eagle's nest on top of a butte.
  • In their final television series De Reis vol Verrassingen, the Dutch duo Bassie en Adriaan spend an entire episode in Monument Valley. Among other things, clown Bassie performs a rain dance in front of The Three Sisters.
  • In the made-for-TV movie 10.5: Apocalypse, Monument Valley is flooded from seismic activity.
  • The 2011 Doctor Who episodes "The Impossible Astronaut" and "Day of the Moon" contain sequences shot in Monument Valley (although not in the exact location given in the episode). This was the first time Doctor Who has filmed principal photography on location in America. Past episodes that take place in America were never shot in the US, including the 1996 TV film which takes place in San Francisco but was shot in Vancouver.
  • In a 2014 Adult Swim bump Monument Valley was shown with lights going through the trails.
  • Numerous scenes from the HBO series Westworld were filmed in Monument Valley.
  • Monument Valley appears in the third-season premiere of the television adaptation of The Man in the High Castle, titled "Now More Than Ever, We Care About You." In this alternate history, the Empire of Japan tests an atomic bomb there.


  • The implied association with John Wayne's tough, macho character made the buttes a natural choice as the background for the Marlboro Man in the marketing of Marlboro-brand cigarettes from the 1950s.[citation needed]


  • A Monument Valley photo was used in Windows Vista Beta 2 as wallpaper.[citation needed]
  • Fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar used Monument Valley as a backdrop for a fashion editorial shot by Yasuhiro Wakabayashi for the January 1969 issue.




  1. ^ Paramount Pictures. "Monument Valley in the movies". CBS News. CBS Interactive Inc. p. 5. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  2. ^ Phipps, Keith (November 17, 2009). "The Easy Rider Road Trip". Slate. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  3. ^ Howze, William (September 2, 2011). "Ford's consistent use of popular imagery in Western and Non-Western films". The Influence of Western Painting and Genre Painting on the Films of John Ford (Revised ed.).
  4. ^ Punch, David A. (September 2, 2018). "Stagecoach: Defining the Western How John Ford's 1939 western classic transformed the dying genre into the epitome of American cinema". Medium.
  5. ^ Movshovitz, Howard (1984). "The Still Point: Women in the Westerns of John Ford". Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies. University of Nebraska Press. 7 (3, Women on the Western Frontier): 68–72. doi:10.2307/3346245. JSTOR 3346245.
  6. ^ Darby, Ken. Hollywood Holyland The Filming and Scoring of The Greatest Story Ever Told. Rowman and Littlefield. The late Ken Darby, a three-time winner for musical adaptation, presents a behind- the-camera portrait of the late George Stevens' 1965 "Holyland", which he built in Utah's Monument Valley in order to film The Greatest Story Ever Told: 160 prefab aluminum bungalows housed over 400 artisans, actors, and technicians