Author Full Detail Guide
Valley of the Gods is a scenic drive in southeastern Utah, near Bluff and Mexican Hat. Often called a mini-Monument Valley it has similar formations and geology, without the hordes of tourists. Furthermore, being BLM land, there aren’t the restrictions on hiking and camping associated with Monument Valley.
The Valley of the Gods road connects UT-163 (west of Bluff) and UT-261 (north of Mexican Hat and just south of the Moki Dugway). The road itself is 17 miles long, made of dirt and gravel, and winds its way through the valley and up and down numerous washes. We’d read that it’s recommended you have a 4x4, high-clearance vehicle, but the road conditions were such that anything but a low-clearance sports car could have made the drive. Having said that, it could be a whole other story in wet weather, especially on the steep sections.
Scattered along the drive are dozens of campsites, many of which would offer good sunrises and sunsets. Unfortunately all are located right next to the road. So, if you’re in search of complete solitude, bring your backpack or find another locale. It also looked like the kind of place that you’d want to get to early in order to secure a site as about 70% of them were occupied the morning we drove through. Another option would be to stay at the Valley of the Gods B&B on the northwest end of the road.
Note that there are no facilities along the drive, so bring plenty of water and make sure you have enough fuel to get to the nearest gas station.
If you’re interested to know the names of the formations, take along a map such as National Geographic Trails Illustrated - Grand Gulch Cedar Mesa Plateau. You won’t need it for route-finding, though.
Lastly, it looked like a fun place for both motorcycling and bicycling. However, there are some blind curves and “up-downs” that might cause spikes of adrenaline if encountering vehicles going in the other direction!
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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