Valley of the Gods
What Makes it Great
This scenic drive is one of the best in Southern Utah and one of the most underrated. Largely due to its lack of developed hiking trails and other amenities, it's a fun place to escape the crowds and see the finer things that Canyon Country has to offer.
The sandstone formations are unique here and similar to those found in Monument Valley. These cool monolithic rocks have been given intriguing names, including Setting Hen Butte, Rooster Butte, Seven Sailors Butte, De Gaulle and His Troops, and Lady in the Bathtub, to name a few of the nearly dozen listed on tourist literature.
You can begin your drive at either the west entrance (Highway 261) or the east (Highway 163), and the direction of travel really isn’t of importance. As you drive along, you are welcome to get out of the car and explore at any location you choose (park at pull-offs). Because this swath of land is located on BLM land, there are no travel restrictions or permits required like at Monument Valley. Without established trails at this special place, roam freely and walk amongst the gods — the famous red dirt and richly colored formations beg for it.
What You’ll Remember
The vantage while driving on the highway to the west of the park at sunrise is rather breathtaking, as the monolithic sandstone monuments are silhouetted with the rising sun; the deep desert hues of big, bold skies juxtaposed next to even bolder rock structures; roaming freely among sage with the gods all around you; laughing as you try to name the formations yourself.
GPS Coordinates, Parking and Regulations
GPS Coordinates to the west entrance
No off-road travel is allowed. Dispersed camping is only permitted in previously impacted sites away from ponds and corrals. No campfires are allowed in Valley of the Gods.
Park at any of the designated pull-offs. This is BLM land so dogs are allowed.
If you’re looking for other accommodations, lodging options in Mexican Hat include a bed and breakfast, lodge, motel, an RV park and two inns.
Valley of the Gods is open year-round. The best times to visit are spring (March to early June) and fall (September to October). Summer months can become oppressively hot, and are right in the middle of monsoon season. For the best view of saturated red rock and deep-hued blue skies, visit the park at sunset or sunrise. When wet, the roads through Valley of the Gods might become impassible, so take caution and check the weather forecast before venturing out.