Valley of the Gods is a scenic sandstone valley that features stunning geologic formations. The statuesque formations are sculpted from Cedar Mesa sandstone dating to the Permian period, around 250 million years ago. Eroded by water, wind and ice over millions of years, the rock was carved into the unique buttes, monoliths (single massive stone or rock), pinnacles and other geological features as seen today.
This geological masterpiece, though a quarter of the size of its celebrated neighbor, Monument Valley, boasts a royalty of rich colors and fantastic formations, and is quite stunning. The formations have been given names such as Rooster Butte, Setting Hen Butte, and Balanced Rock/Lady in a Tub by locals. As you drive through Valley of the Gods, think about the names you might give these formations.
The valley’s magic colors and shapes surprise visitors at every turn. The Valley of the Gods is truly a geological masterpiece, rightfully earning its reputation as “a photographer’s paradise.”
Tourists will find many scenic locations to stop and explore the landscape. With nearby Monument Valley taking first prize for fame, visitors encounter fewer tourists while meandering Valley of the Gods and enjoy a more personal experience. Permits are not required and there are no fees to drive Valley of the Gods unlike Monument Valley.
Valley of the Gods has been used as a filming location for two episodes of the BBC television show Doctor Who. A small cavern at the base of the famously red cliffs running along the north side of the valley provided the location for the helicopter to land in Airwolf (a 1980s TV series).
Valley of the Gods is toured via a 17-mile, unpaved driving loop. The east entrance is accessed off US-163 approximately 15 miles west of Bluff. The west entrance is accessed of US-261. Nearby, must-see attractions include the Goosenecks State Park, Moki Dugway and Muley Point.
The 17-mile loop is unpaved, but the graded gravel and clay surface road is suitable for cars when the road is dry. The road has a few sharp turns and crosses several washes.
Permits are not required and there are no fees to drive Valley of the Gods unlike nearby Monument Valley.
Driving the Valley of the Gods Loop from the East Entrance on US Highway 163
Driving the Valley of the Gods Loop from the West Entrance on Utah Highway 261
Hours: Valley of the Gods is managed by the BLM and is open year round.
Valley of the Gods has graded gravel and clay roads. Visitors are required to stay on the roads as no off road travel is permitted. In good weather, Valley of the Gods can be accessed by passenger cars. In inclement weather, check with the BLM office to inquire about road conditions.
Fees: None; Permits are not required.
Camping: Dispersed camping is allowed but only in previously impacted sites away from ponds and corrals. Campfires are not allowed.
Directions from Bluff: Valley of the Gods is about 15 miles from Bluff. Head south from Bluff on Highway 191. Continue straight as the road becomes Highway 163. Continue about 12 miles and Valley of the Gods will be on your right.
Telephone: Valley of the Gods is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Monticello Field Office, in Monticello, Utah. T: 435-587-1500