Valley of the Gods: Off-the-Beaten-Path in Utah

Updated 10.01.2016

Valley of the Gods is a less crowded alternative to Monument Valley. Make it part of your Utah travel plans.

Valley of the Gods looks just like Monument Valley!

Valley of the Gods is one of our favorite off-the-beaten-path destinations 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 Highway 163 near Mexican Hat in southeastern Utah.

Fall wildflowers make a colorful foreground on an October visit to Valley of the Gods.

Fall wildflower make a colorful foreground on an October visit to Valley of the Gods.

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

Drive the dirt roads of Valley of the Gods for a fun Utah travel adventure.

Exploring on a Utah dirt road is a fun boomer travel adventure.

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.

Snow accents the red cliffs at Valley of the Gods on a winter adventure in Utah.

Valley of Gods is even prettier in the snow.

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.

It's all scenery and no crowds on a trip to Valley of the Gods in southern Utah.

It’s all scenery and no crowds at Valley of the Gods.

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? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email with your comments or questions.

Planning a trip to Utah. Start your research with at our Utah Travel Resources page.

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