Valley of the Gods

Round Trip Distance: 16.4 miles (driving)
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4392 - 5243 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: US-163 or UT-261
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic drive

Valley of the Gods is located in southwest Utah between Bluff and Mexican Hat enroute to the more famous Monument Valley. With its many scenic towering spires and buttes the Valley of the Gods is very similar in nature to Monument Valley and probably much more accessible to those that would like to drive among its many interesting features for a closer look. There aren't any designated hiking trails in the Valley of the Gods but there are plenty of places to get out and walk around.

If coming from the east the Valley of the Gods Road begins off of US Highway 163 about 27 miles west of Bluff where 16.4 miles later it comes out onto Utah Highway 261. The drive takes the same amount of time no matter which direction you are traveling.

The road itself is a well maintained gravel road that tends to have washboards in places if it has been awhile since the last time it was graded.

Pullouts come up every so often that are suitable for primitive camping free of charge. When traffic is light you can probably get away with just stopping in the road to take pictures.

When the sun is low in the sky or there are a few clouds the constantly changing shadows will have you taking multiple photos of the same scene with each looking different from the others.

Many of the buttes look more aptly named when viewed from certain directions. Rooster Butte is on the left in this photo and Setting Hen Butte is on the right.

After passing Pyramid Peak the valley seems to become even more spectacular.

We soon discovered that there are more buttes and prominences than there are names marked on the map.

There is an archaeological marker near where the road makes a sharp turn back to the south. We were guessing that there may have been some petroglyphs on the rocks in that area but alas the darkness was quickly coming upon us so there was no time to investigate.

This butte might be De Gaulle and his Troops.

The Valley of the Gods Bed & Breakfast comes up a short distance from UT-261. At the time that we took this photo it appeared to have recently been sold and was currently closed for business.

The Valley of the Gods Road ends much the same as it began with a BLM kiosk that may or may not have brochures available in the box on the side of the post. If you were lucky enough to find a brochure at the end of the road where you started out you might consider leaving it in the box at the other end unless you are planning to keep it as a souvenir. We had driven by the Valley of the Gods dozens of times in the past, always in too much of a hurry to make the detour, but finally what seemed like the right time came along and it proved to be quite enjoyable. A lot of the reason why we hadn't stopped in the past was due to not knowing what to expect or how long it would take. Maybe this post will help others make that decision. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.