Utah’s Valley of the Gods Lives Up to its Epic Name

US Bureau of Land Management

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Videos by Rare

Utah’s Valley of the Gods sits in the state’s southeast corner. It’s a great thing hiding in plain sight. Off of U.S. Route 163 and a 17-mile dirt road that branches off into the formation of Red Rocks.

The Valley of the Gods consists of red and orange Cedar Mesa sandstone. The 250 million-year-old pinnacles are shaded from the iron inside of the sandstone that eroded over time. The years are marked by the horizontal lines striping the buttes and pinnacles of the Valley. The natural spot is beloved in all seasons. In the summer you can catch wildflower such rabbit brush and sage and yucca in the spring. The San Juan River exists to the south and runs west to meet the Colorado River.

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At one point, the land was home to the Navajo tribes. According to legends, spires in the Valley of the Gods are said to hold spirits of some of the great Navajo warriors. The Bear’s Ear National Monument area that surrounds the Valley of the Gods holds over 100,000 sites of “cultural significance”. These holy sites yield fossils, artifacts, and remains of various ancestral figures. In 2017 the Bear’s Ear National Monument was reduced by over half its size, up to 85 percent, along with the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. That area is also protected.

It’s assumed that more tourists hear of the Valley of the Gods than those who actually make it there. The land, owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), shows visitors the Castle Butttem, Lady in the Bathtub, Sitting Hen Butte, and the Seven Sailors Butte. The entrance into the park is just a few miles north of the Mexican Hat.

Directions

The east entrance to the Valley is on US-163. The western entrance lies on US-261. The two entrances are connected by dirt, and you can drive the Valley of the from either side.

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