Valley of the Gods: a mini Monument Valley
Just west of Bluff and Comb Ridge, near the village of Mexican Hat, UT, lies a wide-open backroad region called Valley of the Gods. Its sandstone spires and buttes are perhaps smaller than those in the Monument Valley we’re all familiar with just to the south, but they are equally impressive in terms of variety of form and sheer erosion-sculpted beauty.
They have the added benefit of not being on tribal lands which require special permission or guides for access. This is a plain ol’ BLM-administered property.
The 17-mile loop road winds around the numerous rock features in a kind of half-circle, with access from Hwy 163 on the south and Hwy 261 to the north. We entered from the south side and discovered that the road became quite a bit worse for wear (with lots of rugged, rocky dry wash crossings) at its other end. Regular sedan? Probably OK, but something with higher clearance will save you a lot of potential grief and worry.
There are no established foot trails or campgrounds along the road, which just means that you can pull over wherever you’ve a mind to, pitch a tent, and take off hiking in any direction. My kind of joint, in other words.