Updated: Aug 6
House Rock Valley Overlook gives you an absolutely incredible panoramic view of the Paria Plateau, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, and House Rock Valley from the Kaibab Plateau and Kaibab National Forest. To the east, you will drive along the Paria Plateau for dozens of miles and see Cliff Dwellers Stone House, Vermilion Cliffs, Marble Canyon, and Navajo Bridge. I recommend this drive to anyone in the area because it’s absolutely extraordinary.
In this blog, we’ll go over everything there is to know about House Rock Valley Overlook in Arizona, including its geological importance, directions, the view of the landscape, and even more fun and nearby locations to travel to.
The Paria Plateau, like many other plateaus and buttes in Arizona and Utah, was created after multiple stages. Sedimentary rock was created by deposition (the area used to be underwater). Tectonic activity then pushed these rocks up out of the water, and erosion started to take place. Water, ice, wind, and other factors eroded the rocks into what they are today. The Paria River, just like the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, played a huge role in shaping the landscape. These stages are why you can see hundreds of millions of years of history in the rocks. In the Grand Canyon, I recommend going to Angels Window, Moran Point, and Navajo Point to see the different levels of rocks (and to get great views of the Grand Canyon, of course). You can also see 65 million years of history at Point Joe Vista Point in California.
How to Get to House Rock Valley Overlook
If you are driving in from Jacob Lake (to the west), drive 12 miles east on U.S. Highway 89A. You will be traveling through Kaibab National Forest and the Kaibab Plateau, so it will be an enjoyable little trip. Once you get close to the overlook, the road can get windy. Make sure to slow down, especially if the road has water, snow, or ice on it. A couple of miles before the viewpoint, you will be able to see the valley and plateaus; the picture below shows where you will need to park. You will be at an elevation of 5,870 feet, and the coordinates are 36.4322, 112.0337.
If you are driving in from Vermilion Cliffs National Monument or Marble Canyon (or anywhere from the east), drive west on U.S. Highway 89A up the mountain. It will only be 2 miles until you reach House Rock Valley Overlook. The area to park should be obvious, and you can look at the picture above. You may be coming from Page or Wahweap next to Lake Powell, so you should check out our blogs about Wahweap Overlook and Wahweap Window.
House Rock Valley Overlook
Before we get started, I’ll give you a fair warning that it can be very windy. If you’re going to be there for a while, bring some windproof clothes. There will always be plenty of spots here, so there is no need to worry about that.
You can see in the video at the top just how beautiful the video is from House Rock Valley Overlook. You can see everything for dozens of miles, even Marble Canyon where the Colorado River runs through.
You will notice that there are a lot of man-made boulders that you can stand on for pictures. There is a little gravel area that pokes out from the middle of the parking lot, too. Other than this being a nice spot to take pictures from, there is a trail that runs a few hundred feet toward the canyon. Here, there are a few sedimentary rocks that are eye-catching.
Britain Castellano talks about the "Vast view of the valley and canyons east of Kaibab. If you're feeling brave, you can walk or slide down the mountainside to an old-timey car that looks like it crashed there a century ago."
This is a fantastic (and I cannot emphasize this enough) place to watch the sunrise. The sun will rise over the Paria Plateau and Marble Canyon. It may even be a better spot than the Grand Canyon! Unfortunately, the sunsets here are obscured by the forest and mountains to the west. I would recommend traveling down into the valley (near Navajo Bridge) for the best view.
Stargazing is stunning here. There is almost zero light pollution for dozens of miles (just like most of Northern Arizona). Bring a good camera so you can get eye-popping photos of the stars and the Milky Way!
Last but not least are the picnics. If the wind isn’t blowing, it makes for a great spot. The cars can be a little annoying, but nothing beats the view.
Cliff Dwellers Stone House is not too far east of House Rock Valley Overlook. It has some - you guessed it - stone houses that you can go inside; some of these are very amazing and intricate. There is a balancing rock there, too, and you can get a picture of someone holding up the rock. If you go up the hill a little bit (but not past the barbed wire fence), you can see the Paria Plateau and a canyon.
Another bonus spot is Navajo Bridge at Marble Canyon. In my opinion, this is better than the Grand Canyon because you are standing above a steep canyon and the Colorado River - rather than miles away. You can walk across the pedestrian bridge and see some endangered birds. They have some bathrooms here if you need them.
House Rock Valley Overlook on Vermilion Cliffs Scenic Highway gives you a glimpse of Northern Arizona, and what the Grand Canyon will look like. With dozens of miles of landscape to see, and the plateaus and buttes, you will be dazzled by the view. No matter which direction you travel to get here, you will pass plenty of spots that nature lovers will enjoy.