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.
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.
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.As 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.
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.
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.
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 😉
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.Valley 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.