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John Ford, who filmed westerns in the valley (the Mittens and Merrick Butte), called it the "most complete, beautiful and peaceful place on earth." (Douglas Merriam)

Behind the Scenes in Monument Valley

The vast Navajo tribal park on the border of Utah and New Mexico stars in Hollywood movies but remains largely hidden to visitors

John Ford, I imagined, couldn’t have chosen a better spot.

Frequent contributor Tony Perrottet last wrote for the magazine about John Muir’s Yosemite. Photographer Douglas Merriam lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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