Valley of the Gods

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Valley of the Gods, 2012

Valley of the Gods is a scenic sandstone valley near Mexican Hat in San Juan County, southeastern Utah. It is north of Monument Valley across the San Juan River, and has similar rock formations to Monument Valley, albeit on a smaller scale, with tall, red, isolated mesas, buttes, and cliffs standing above the level valley floor, remnants of an ancient landscape.[1][2]

The Valley of the Gods area may be toured via a 17-mile (27 km) gravel road (FR 242) that winds amongst the eerie formations; this is rather steep and bumpy in parts but is passable by normal vehicles in good and dry weather. The western end joins UT 261 shortly before its 1,200-foot (370 m) ascent up Cedar Mesa at Moki Dugway, while the eastern end starts 9 miles (14 km) from the town of Mexican Hat along US 163 and heads north, initially crossing flat, open land and following the course of Lime Creek, a seasonal wash, before turning west towards the buttes and pinnacles.[1] In addition to the gravel road, the area is also crisscrossed by off-road dirt trails.

The valley is not a park, but public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. There are no services in the valley, except for a bed-and-breakfast located near the western end of FR 242.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

Aerial view of Valley of the Gods, near Mexican Hat.

The valley has been used as the backdrop for numerous western movies, television shows, and commercials, including:[1][2]

  • The 1984-1987 CBS TV show Airwolf is often mistakenly identified as being filmed in The Valley of the Gods (due to an in episode mention) but was in fact filmed in Monument Valley
  • Two episodes of the BBC science fiction TV show Doctor Who were filmed in The Valley of the Gods: "The Impossible Astronaut" and "Day of the Moon", the second of which includes an explicit on-screen reference to the filming location.


  1. ^ a b c "Valley of the Gods Brochure". Utah Travel Industry Website. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Valley of the Gods" (PDF). Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°14′11″N 109°48′49″W / 37.23639°N 109.81361°W / 37.23639; -109.81361