My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Saturday’s scene: off-the-beaten-path in Utah

2013/03/01by Donna Hull

Updated 03.01.2014

Valley of the Gods, Utah

Off-the-beaten-path in Valley of the Gods

Would you like to travel off-the-beaten-path in Utah? If you’ve hung around My Itchy Travel Feet for very long, you know that Alan and I enjoy nothing better than to take the road less traveled. That’s exactly what we found off of Highway 163 near Mexican Hat in southeastern Utah.

I bet you thought the photo posted here was from Monument Valley. Wrong. Alan took this shot on a drive through Valley of the Gods, just 30 miles north of its famous sister.

A 17-mile dirt road (FR 242) winds through red sandstone buttes and pinnacles in a smaller version of Monument Valley. You may see a car or two, but for the most part you’ll have Valley of the Gods to yourself. Since this is BLM land, the area is totally undeveloped. Camping is permitted although there are no facilities whatsoever.

It’s the kind of place where you want to park the car and go exploring. Or, drag out the beach chairs, books, something cold to drink and just be. Another option is to arrive at sunset to watch the sunlight’s reflection off the red rocks. One January, Alan and I attended the Bluff Balloon Festival, and enjoyed exploring a snowy Valley of the Gods. The frozen snow sparkled in the bright sunlight making for a fun photography session.

Although it’s fine to explore by foot (there are no marked trails), watch out for rattlesnakes in the underbrush when hiking in Valley of the Gods during warm weather.

Where do you stay on an off-the-beaten-path Utah adventure like this one? Valley of the Gods Bed and Breakfast is located near the western end of FR 232. It’s an experience that’s all about living green in off-the-grid accommodations. You don’t want to miss it. Another option is Desert Rose Inn & Cabins in Bluff, Utah. Alan and I have enjoyed both lodging choices and recommend either one of them.

Have you gone off-the-beaten-path in Utah? Post a comment to share your experience. Alan and I want to hear about your adventure. We just might add it to our boomer to do list.

A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of My Itchy Travel Feet: Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie Smith
March 2, 2013 at 8:25 am

We’ll make note of this for our next trip south. Good tip about the snakes. . .we’ve encountered them when least expecting them. . .good to be on the lookout!
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santafetraveler March 2, 2013 at 8:51 am

We always prefer the off-the-beaten-path route unless we’re in a hurry. There’s so much to discover. Even getting lost can be fun (as look as you find the way back).
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Mark H March 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm

The wonderful peace and serenity of being less discovered must make this place a special area.
Mark H recently posted..Why Travel to Myanmar When I Can Just Go to Burma?My Profile


Robert Fowler
March 2, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Utah is such a beautiful state. I have been there on vacation a couple of time but never hikes except the little trail around the lodge in Zion National Park. I would love to do that one day.
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March 6, 2014 at 2:51 am

We had the chance of driving through Utah on our road trip across 4 states (California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada) some of the roads are just beautiful. The scenery on the way to Page is so beautful
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Renuka March 8, 2014 at 3:19 am

Never been to Utah. :( Would love to explore its rugged beauty!
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Donna Hull
March 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Utah is an amazing state with wide open spaces, rugged scenery and lots of outdoor adventures waiting for you to sample, Renuka.


tilly March 15, 2014 at 12:06 pm

fabulous place. I would really love to visit and capture its beauty .
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Dennis Kopp March 20, 2014 at 11:11 am

Donna, that really looks like a fantastic landscape! I have never even heard about the Valley of Gods, but that probably supports your argument that you were off the beaten path and away from the usual Monument Valley hype. I would certainly love to explore the area as well, even if the word rattlesnake hampers my excitement a little bit… :/
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