Valley of the Gods

From our perch 1,000 feet above the San Juan River at Goosenecks State Park, we awoke to another beautiful spring morning.  The winds during the night were mild, providing us with a wonderful night’s sleep.  After enjoying our coffee with a view, we decided to explore the surrounding area.red rocks and things to see in Utah

The day’s destination was Valley of the Gods.  This 17 mile gravel scenic drive took us through some of southern Utah’s stunning sandstone red rock formations similar to Monument Valley.red rock formations

We accessed Valley of the Gods on the valley’s eastern end which starts about nine miles north of the town of Mexican Hat along U.S. 163.  This gravel road is relatively well maintained and usually passable by normal vehicles in good dry weather.photographic drives in UtahAs we turned off of U.S. 163, the gravel road immediately dipped and we crossed Lime Creek, a seasonal wash.  Since we’d received some rain a few days earlier, there was indeed a small stream of water we needed to travel through…..piece of cake for my little truck or any other high clearance vehicle.scenic Utah red rockssandstone red rock formations in Utah

After crossing the stream, the road climbed up slightly and we were greeted with a stunning view as the vast valley opened before us.  There were tall sandstone rock formations as far as the eye could see.  These red mesas, buttes, cliffs, pinnacles, and monoliths form unique shapes.  Shapes that one can’t help but name because of the unique characters they seem to form.  The locals have name a few.

monoliths in Utah

Setting Hen Butte

seven sailors Valley of the Gods

Seven Sailors

photo of lady in a tub

lady in a tub

Valley of the Gods is managed by BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and as such, dispersed camping is allowed.  Many of the campsites we came across would comfortably fit just about any size RV.  Definitely a boondocking paradise.  The major obstacle in accessing this beautiful valley with a RV is that first big dip in the road at the entrance to the valley and crossing the wash that could be wet and muddy .  Entering from the west would not be an option because the road gets more difficult with dips, turns, switchbacks, and narrows the closer one gets to Utah route 261.

Valley of the Gods

a trailer boondocking. What a great campsite.

boondocking in Utah

Yep, I could call this home! Great fire ring. Although all the info says no fires are allowed and yet almost all the campsites seem to have a rock fire ring.

Al and I seriously contemplate boondocking in Valley of the Gods during our next time through this part of Utah.  That dip near the entrance may have us scrapping the bumper a little on the 5th wheel, but well worth waking up to these views.  Food for thought anyway and worth a second look 😉

boondocking dispersed camping in Utah

The road becomes less RV friendly the further west we head

Valley of the Gods

As the road winds through the valley, Al and I found ourselves stopping numerous times to take in the view.  We checked out various boondocking campsites and admired the red rock formations and scenery.  This is definitely a mini Monument Valley and what’s even better is the lack of restrictions.  Monument Valley is on Navajo land and thus regulated by the Navajo people with strict rules.photography in Utahscenic drives in UtahValley of the Gods is located on BLM land and offers us all the freedom to camp, hike, and explore to our hearts content with a few simple regulations.  Yes, Valley of the Gods is truly a hidden gem….. one we’re very glad we discovered.boondocking dispersed camping in Utah

scenic drives in Utah

Moon Utah (Moon Handbooks)

 

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64 thoughts on “Valley of the Gods

  1. Wow, what a great place! Now, can we get prepared to boondock long enough with our residential fridge? May need to have the solar panels before we try this one. Great article!

  2. So glad you made it there, by the time we get there again we should be set up for some boondocking we’ll have to consider Valley of the Gods.

    • We come across so many awesome places to tent camp. A couple of summers ago, we even got out the tent and left the RV behind. Some places just need to be experienced without the creature comforts of an RV.

  3. We loved that place. We had a ton of rain when we were there also. Couldn’t touch the beauty of the place though. Keep enjoying the good life.

    • Obviously we really enjoyed our time here and hope to return next season. I did review your post on the area as well. I wonder how muddy the roads get after the rains? I here the roads look even prettier. Hope you’re enjoying spring in Ohio.

    • Gosh, what’s not to love about Utah? I fell in love with this state my first time through over twenty years ago. I look forward to slowly exploring this state over time. Where to start, where to return to? Wonderful dilemma to be faced with 🙂

  4. What an absolutely fabulous place and your photos were award winning…Make me want to get back in that Hiker…But at least you don’t mind if Den and I travel along with you and Al…Hey, lets get a 6 pack and another road trip soon!

    • Thank you Donna….Sounds like a good idea to me 🙂 Around every bend in Utah is more jaw dropping scenery. I’m not sure I’ll ever get my fill of these amazing sights. I think I’ll just need to visit repeatedly 😉

    • Thanks ML. No, you’re 40′ Betsy would get stuck in the dip. The campsites themselves wouldn’t be a problem though. Just stay at Goosenecks SP and visit Valley of the Gods and you’re good to go 🙂 This is country I highly recommend seeing first hand…. photos do not do it justice.

  5. I can see why they call it Valley of the Gods…it truly is breathtaking. Boondocking for a few days sounds perfect for nice cool and dry weather. Enjoying all the pictures…a lot!

    • Thanks. I think it would be very enjoyable to be camped in Valley of the Gods to savor the sunrises and sunsets along with a star filled sky. But you are so right – cool and dry weather a must.

    • Arches is just 2 hours north of Valley of the Gods. Utah is such an amazing state. I’m hoping to spend a lot more time exploring it at my leisure 🙂

    • Anytime! We’re beginning to really like the idea of Grand Junction as our hub…..so much to see, do, and explore within an easy 2 hour drive such as Moab. I’m sure we’ll be traveling through Utah a lot….at least I hope 🙂

    • Just think of all the lovely spots you’ll fit with a smaller home 🙂 I found a map on line with all the rocks named and planned to use it on our tour, but then left it back at the RV, dah! So I didn’t get photos of all the named rocks like I had planned.

    • You welcome…..glad you enjoyed. I’d read about Valley of Gods from several other bloggers but had to dig to find exactly where it was located so when I found this map I just had to share.

  6. Absolutely gorgeous, Ingrid — we visited Valley of the Gods for the first time last fall and loved it, too. We also thought it looked perfect for boondocking, and will likely try it our next trip through. Lucky you with those beautiful cloud formations! They really set off the red rock sculptures. Of course, your artistic eye makes all the difference. 🙂

    • Thanks Laurel. I was excited when those clouds started rolling in. They do make for interesting visual. I wish we had been boondocked out there during sunset. Oh, what a fabulous sky those clouds would’ve made as the sun went down. The beauty of our smaller RV’s is being able to fit into these hidden gems. Not once have I wished our RV to be bigger 🙂

  7. One of our fav spots from our trip last year in Utah! I so width we could’ve boondocked there. Nice shots.

    Nina

    • Thanks Nina. We fell in love with the area as well. Mike (Bear Tracks blog) and Al sized up the road and felt we could manage the drive in with our 31′ fiver but Mike’s 40′ MH couldn’t make the dip. We were already dealing with enough damage on our RV from the blown tire that we opted not to chance it this year. Repairs first 😉

  8. am currently having the “why haven’t we been THERE?’ conversation with Mr N! been so close several times, so thank you for the post. isn’t the weather gorgeous…

    • If only the weather would stay this way and not venture into that 100 + territory, I’d be one happy camper. Utah is an incredible state that needs to be explored slowly…..so many hidden gems.

      • When we looked at your map we knew we had been so close on previous trips- Mexican hat etc. we are planning to get there in July- and I know, it will be hot, but I can DO hot. What I can’t do is months of rain in guernsey!

    • Welcome back to the blogosphere. You would love hiking and exploring Moab (2 hours north of Valley of the Gods – posts forthcoming). It’s a playground for adults filled with outdoor adventures.

    • The views are breathtaking and seem to go on forever. I would love to wake up to this kind of scenery and yes, a great boondocking location 🙂

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