Monument Valley provides one of the most enduring and definitive images of the American West. The isolated red mesas and buttes surrounded by empty, sandy desert have been filmed and photographed countless times over the years for movies, advertisements and holiday brochures. The valley is not a valley in the conventional sense, but rather a wide flat, sometimes desolate landscape, interrupted by the crumbling formations rising hundreds of feet into the air, the last remnants of the sandstone layers that once covered the entire region.
The area is entirely within the Navajo Reservation on the Utah/Arizona border; the state line passes through the most famous landmarks, which are concentrated around the border near the small town of Goulding. This 3-D perspective was created by draping ASTER image data acquired April 18, 2002 over digital elevation data from the U.S. Geological Survey National Elevation Dataset.
Image credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team