Director John Ford shot his classic 1956 Western The Searchers in Utah’s Monument Valley, said Glenn Frankel in The Washington Post. Ford liked the tableau—“the stark, arid landscape; the sandstorms; and the scarred, defiant mesas rising 2,000 feet—even though it doesn’t much resemble the film’s Texas setting. Though The Searchers’ sets are long gone, extraordinary vistas remain, as does Goulding’s Lodge, where Ford first set up camp. The 30,000-acre Monument Valley National Tribal Park, ancient home of the Navajos, straddles the Utah-Arizona line. A steep, 17-mile dirt road courses through this unfriendly terrain. At Goulding’s we signed up for a four-wheel-drive tour given by Larry Rock, a Navajo guide. Th, e route led past sandstone mesas and buttes, traditional Navajo huts called hogans, and the prehistoric cave dwellings of the Anasazi. From John Ford’s Point, we slowly made our way to a rocky ledge with a spectacular view of the northern half of the valley. Ford used it as the setting for “a climactic attack on a Comanche camp.”
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