I was on my way home from Arizona last week and stopped for a couple of nights at Goulding's across the highway from Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. I had read online that the Park had just reopened from the Covid shutdown, so I was eager to drive the 17 mile loop through the valley and perhaps photograph some familiar scenes. I was disappointed to learn at the entrance booth that the 17 mile self-driving tour is still closed, and visitors are limited to the parking lot on the valley rim (unless on a paid tour), but I thought I would at least be able to shoot sunrise the next morning.

The next morning there was only one other photographer (digital of course) there for sunrise. I had just gotten my composition and focus dialed in with my 8x10 and placed a two stop GND in front of my lens when a security guard came out of the Visitor Center and asked us both for our paid receipts. The other guy did not have one and had to leave. I had mine from the day before (good for two days) but the guard told me "no tripods are allowed."

I couldn't believe this. I've been visiting MV for 15 years and have never had anyone tell me I couldn't photograph there. I packed up without getting my shot, but stopped at the entrance booth on my way out. The Parks official at the booth (she had a badge) told me big cameras (the kind that require viewing hoods/dark cloths) are not allowed ("they are too big"), and tripods are not allowed because they "chew up the ground." I had soft rubber feet on my 'pod, no spikes.

I just relate this in case anyone else is planning to visit Monument Valley in the near future. Beware.