I don't know whether or not this is the right forum for this thread, but my experience was certainly "off the beaten Path."
In 2007 my wife and I took a road trip that included Monument Valley. I had always seen the wonderful pictures of "The Hands" and, of course, I loved all the John Wayne movies that were shot in that locale, so I just had to see it for real.
We drove down from the Moki Dugway through Mexican Hat and got that great view of the lonely highway 163 with the formations in the distance. When we arrived at the turnoff to MV, I was surprised to see that it was paved only to the parking lot. There were tours offered with Navajo guides, but we were a little pressed for time. There was an option to drive yourself through the valley at your own pace for (I think) $5, so we took it.
I should have realized that we were in for trouble when we got about half-a-mile in. There was a wash where a recent rain had created a huge muddy mess. We drove our 2005 Toyota Sienna through like the rest of the traffic and continued on a rough and dusty road. At one point, the mesquite was right up against the car, and we sustained a huge scratch along the side that never did buff out. By the time we got back to the parking lot, our van was in need of a complete wash and detail.
Now I did enjoy the scenery in Monument Valley, and I can see why so many people want to go there, but my lasting impression is of a filthy car with a 8-foot scratch down the side. I determined that the view from the parking lot would have been just fine for me. I don't know if the road has ever been improved, but I would pass it by if I ever get there again.
Anybody want to discuss or dispute this?