Valley of the Gods in Utah

Valley of the Gods and Moki Dugway

Lindsey Huster Blog Posts 4 Comments

Valley of the Gods and Moki Dugway = Perfection!

Valley of the Gods and the Moki Dugway… plus dinner with a spectacular view equals my idea of perfection! The entire trip has breathtaking views.  This was my favorite day even after a month of exploring! Read more to find out why and check out our video at the end of the post.

Check out our video

Valley of the Gods

Valley of the Gods is a 17 mile loop road that features a number of monoliths, large single upright blocks of stone. The geological features are similar to Monument Valley and some even call it Miniature Monument Valley. Rock buttes are contrasted by the open space of the area, this creates a grandness that is beautiful and inspiring.

Getting there

We entered at the east entrance on Highway 163, about 15 miles west of Bluff, Utah. The road is gravel and clay therefore passenger vehicles are suitable for the road during dry conditions. However, it is advised to get a local opinion after inclement weather since water may wash out parts the road or make it muddy and unaccessible by car. Our jeep was a great vehicle for the drive since we were experiencing dry conditions.

More about the formations

The formations are all sculpted from Cedar Mesa sandstone. They date back to the Permian age, 250 million years old. Erosion by water, wind and ice over millions of years has carved these formations into the unique shapes we see today. These formations are identifiable by names like Seven Sailors and Lady in a Tub. You will need a map for the names of the structures since they are not labeled by signs along the drive. Nearby visitor centers or online resources will have maps. A fun suggestion is that you come up with names on your own.

My Thoughts: Valley of the Gods

Driving the dirt road out in the middle of nowhere is unreal!  We spent about 2 hours driving the loop, stopping often to look around and take pictures. There was only one other passing vehicle the entire time so we basically had the place to ourselves!  The sky looked amazing that day, a beautiful blue.  Super impressive!

The Moki Dugway

After completing the loop from Valley of the Gods, the road leads you to Highway 261, which is at the base of the Moki Dugway. This is a series of switchbacks that gains 1200 feet at an 11% grade. The three mile drive is unpaved, but suitable for most vehicles. It’s known as one of Utah’s most dangerous roads so be sure to safely pull off the road at the viewpoints.  You will want to stop serval times for fantastic photo opportunities.

My Thoughts: Moki Dugway

Peaceful is the first word that comes to mind.  I kept feeling like there were no words to describe the beauty of looking out over the landscape. The colors are incredible; greens, reds, dark oranges. Rock, shrubbery, formations, this place has it all. After dinner we talked about how amazing this evening had been and we were just getting started on this month-long trip!

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Comments 4

  1. While on highway 163, was there a road sign that let you know where to turn for Valley of the Gods?

  2. Hi Laurel. Yes, there is a very small sign for the turnoff to the Valley of the Gods. Your best bet is to keep an eye out for the monoliths in the distance then start looking for the turnoff. It wasn’t too difficult to find.

  3. Thank you, Keith. We did the drive today and did see the sign for Valley of the Gods. It was such a fun drive. We stopped about 1/2 way in and had lunch looking at the beautiful formations. We had planned to do Monument Valley, but you know how that turned out! We’re staying at Goulding’s Lodge and have a nice view of some of it from our balcony. On to Grand Canyon tomorrow. Thanks again for getting back to me so quickly.

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