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2001 Trip That Started It All
2002 Desert Ghost Towns
2003 Eastern & Southern US
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2006 Death Valley
2007 New Orleans
2007 Road Trip With Mom
2008 Tombstone
2009 Eastern
2010 No Destination
2011 St. Augustine
2012 England & France
2013 Western Giants
2014 - Southwestern
2015 - Mystery Tour
2016 - Spur of the Moment

Here & There
2009 Kelowna
2009 Glacier National Park
2011 Patched

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Hwy 261
Monument Valley
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Valley of the Gods

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Valley of the Gods is a small scale version of Monument Valley, but, without a doubt equally as impressive and beautiful. There is a 17 mile trail winding its way through the Valley connecting Highway 163 to Highway 261 at the bottom of Cedar Mesa.  Although the trail is relatively well maintained, it can be very rough and bumpy and subject to washouts. Some areas have rocks exposed from the shifting sands and scraping bottom is a strong possibility.

There are no tour busses or tourist traps in the area.  There are no gas stations, gift shops, coffee shops, washrooms, and rarely any other tourists.  Most are hesitant to bring their vehicles on the trail. However, the solitude and serenity of the area is well worth the extra hour it takes us to get through it. And, of course, as is always our delight, it leads us right to Highway 261. 

We love to explore and discover new things instead of doing the same thing on our travels, but we have found some areas that we have totally fallen in love with and keep coming back to year after year.  Valley of the Gods is one of them.


2001

When researching online to find out the location and name of the big red rock area, I had come across an place called "Valley of the Gods".  So, of course, when we saw the road signs, it was hit the brakes and hang a right.  It is an eerie, desolate, magnificent landscape and immediately one understood it's name. 

The map showed a road - unpaved over the sand. Being on a time budget and not knowing where it led, we did not venture too far in - just far enough to know it was somewhere we wanted to come back and explore.


2002
We arrived intact at the bottom of the butte and west entrance to the "Valley". A Chevy Cavalier is not exactly 4-wheeling it, but we also made it through the 17 miles of dusty roads, washed out creeks and fallen rocks. 
The Valley road had not been graded after the winter and a couple of vehicles were not as adventurous and turned back. I guess size isn't everything.  What's a little high-centering here and there?.  A quick check of the muffler and undercarriage and we were on our way to connect with Hwy 163.

2003
We reached Valley of the Gods from the west side, but didn't have time do the whole route.  So we only drove in a short way, turned around and headed for the base of Hwy 261.

June 2007

It's amazing that we can travel all the way to New Orleans and then by careful planning find ourselves in Valley of the Gods on the way home, but that's exactly what we did.  It just didn't seem right that we could go away and not visit one of our favorite places. So, although it was a "destination New Orleans" trip - we ended up in Valley of the Gods again.  It just felt like we were home.

There is a 17 mile trail winding its way through the Valley connecting Highway 163 to Highway 261 at the bottom of Cedar Mesa. Although the trail is relatively well maintained, it can be very rough and bumpy and subject to washouts. Some areas have rocks exposed from the shifting sands and scraping bottom is a strong possibility.

There are no tour buses or tourist traps in the area.  There are no gas stations, gift shops, coffee shops, washrooms, and rarely any other tourists.  Most are hesitant to bring their vehicles on the trail. 

However, the solitude and serenity of the area is well worth the extra hour or so it takes to get through it.  And on the plus side, it leads us right to the base Highway 261.

Valley of the Gods is a small scale version of Monument Valley, but, without a doubt equally as impressive and beautiful.

August 2007 with Mom
The road is steep and bumpy in parts but passable by normal vehicles in good weather. This was my first trip through the valley in summer, right after a heavy rainstorm so there were a couple of runoff spots that were a bit dicey to maneuver.  I was quite grateful to be driving an SUV that day or we may have gotten ourselves high-centered or stuck in a ravine.
Look Mom - No Road

2008
In the morning of June 24th we left Bluff and travelled a couple of miles west to the SE entrance of Valley of the Gods. The last time the Murano had travelled this road was in August the year before, just after a rainstorm and a couple of the runoff areas had been washed out and muddy. This year, the sun was shining, no other tourists invaded our space and for an hour and a half we had the world to ourselves. We took a multitude of photos and then drove out onto Hwy 261 at the base of the butte.

2010
We headed out with the good intention of going directly up Hwy 261 but with Doreen at the helm once again, her car had a mind of it's own and pulled a hard right turn into the Valley of the Gods. To our surprise there was water in the Valley entrance. Had never seen water there before.  As a matter of fact, I had only seen water once in all our trips and that was the August I brought my mother for a roadtrip and it had rained the night before.  And that was in a deep wash way back in the middle of the valley floor.  There hadn't been any rain here in over a week.  Whatever storm had come thru before we arrived must have been a whopper.