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.
Valley of the Gods received incidental fame as the setting for some of the scenes in the 1980s TV series Airwolf; the helicopter that featured in the show was often seen flying into a cavern at the base of the red cliffs lining the north side of the valley.
The location also came to public attention in January 2008, when a coach traveling west along US 163 in snowy conditions lost control during the steep descent from Lime Ridge, veered off the north side of the highway and crashed, ending up right next to the east end of the loop road. A plaque, cross and various artefacts mark the crash site, where nine people died; the coach was returning to Phoenix from a ski trip in Telluride, Colorado.
The American Southwest - Utah