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Valley of the Gods, UT

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Rated  Favorite Wish List UT > Southeast
3.6 of 5 by 5
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Distance One Way 17 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,317 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Backpack Yes
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
15  2019-02-14 Stoic
5  2018-10-15 Stoic
10  2018-04-07 Steph_and_Blake
3  2017-10-04 AZWanderingBear
11  2017-07-29 Stoic
18  2014-04-21 AZ_Step
9  2013-11-03 RickVincent
7  2013-05-10 outdoor_lover
Page 1,  2
Author Steph_and_Blake
author avatar Guides 98
Routes 59
Photos 2,511
Trips 175 map ( 749 miles )
Age 70 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Mar → Any
Seasons   Early Spring to Early Winter
Sun  6:03am - 6:25pm
Official Route
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Geology Nearby
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Culture Nearby

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.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your scenic drive to support this local community.

    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Valley of the Gods
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Day 1 and 2 of 14-day SE Utah trip. Dinner in Mexican Hat at the Swinging Steak followed by camping just off the 17 mile drive through VOTG and just above Lime Creek and across from the Seven Sailors. Full moon so bright it gave even blades of grass a shadow in the night. Snuck back into Mexican Hat for breakfast and then finished the drive through VOTG. The drive begins kind of slow I think, but it really hits a stride halfway through its 17 miles. Midmornig sun made photography futile, but I snapped dozens anyway. The 250 million year old Cedar Mesa sandstone certainly makes for interesting sculptures: buttes, towers, mesas, spires.
    Valley of the Gods
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I enjoyed this area. No hiking restrictions, no rules, no people. We approached from the West entrance to Valley of the Gods Road. Before turning right onto the dirt road, we continued past the turnoff and took the winding road up to a lookout near the top of the East facing cliffs. This is a cool little drive full of winding switchbacks. Its hard to even see that there is a road going up these cliffs. The whole ride it was like staring at one of those illusions posters. We knew the road went to the top, but it just seemed to not be there when you glanced up ahead to try and figure it out. Great views of the Valley down below. I highly recommend this short side trip before or after your tour through the Valley.

    There are many interesting monuments. We came up with our own names for many of them. There was "the angry bride", Aunt Jemima, the train. Just like staring at cloud shapes, its fun to come up with your own imaginative creations. We stopped near a monument we called "the train." Anna and I hiked around the monument in a clockwise loop. There was a dry wash on the east side that would make for an incredible oasis if water were running through.
    Valley of the Gods
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Enroute to a Backpack Trip...Day 1 was a travel Day with Car Camping in Valley of the Gods, UT. Alex flew in from New Jersey. Then Alex, Linda and I headed up to Flagstaff to meet up with the California Crew, Paul and Lani....Had lunch in Flagstaff before continuing on to the Valley to settle in for our first night.

    I have skirted the "edge" of Monument Valley before, enroute to Four Corners, but have never taken the Highway north of Kayenta and seen the depth of it before, so it was a very sweet drive. Everything north on that Highway from Kayenta was new territory for me, including that SE Corner of Utah, so it was a real treat, especially with the Clouds and Storms floating around in the area. For once, I actually found it hard to gawk and drive at the same time, although I don't think I scared my fellow riders too much.... :lol: And of course, as I'm marveling at finally being able to witness this amazing Geology in person, the thoughts are pouring into my head of future plans to this area.... :D

    We arrived in the Valley of the Gods late afternoon, to ominous looking Storms encircling us...Amazingly, we only got some Wind and a little bit of drizzle, but it certainly looked like the areas around us were getting dumped on, including parts of Cedar Mesa, where we would be heading the next morning...

    After settling in and enjoying a few cocktails, the Wind died down and we were able to enjoy a brief Campfire before turning in. Since I drove, I had the luxury of sleeping in the Car on a nice, comfy air mattress, knowing that the next five nights would not be nearly as comfortable... :sweat: Now, if I could have just stuffed a sock up Paul's nose across the way in his vehicle, I might have gotten to sleep at a decent hour... :sl: But then again, probably not, as the excitement of the Trip was too much anyway.... :D

    Woke up the next morning to clear Skies and a really nice view, lit up by the Morning Sun...Got packed up and headed on to our next stop...Really enjoyable first day of the Trip with good, fun company.... :D :y:

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To scenic drive
    From Bluff, take UT-163 west for 17 miles. Turn right onto the signed road for Valley of the Gods.
    page created by PaleoRob on Apr 19 2018 12:55 pm
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