Valley of the Gods Road
2 reviews Road Canyon Wilderness Study Area #81 hike out of 163 in
10 hrs 26 min
This is a difficult one way trail in Road Canyon Wilderness Study Area.
Valley of the Gods
Trail Length: 16.4 miles Low-End Rating: 1 High-End Rating: 2 If you are in the area this is one trail that you can't miss. The valley springs up out of nowhere with a sight to see at every turn. The road would be fine in a passenger car if it had enough clearance and the road was not muddy or snowy. It almost feels like a national park but it hasn't gotten to that step yet. There are pull outs to stop and take pictures of the scenery, but there are no signs to point out the names of the features. This description will attempt to explain what each feature looks like, if you travel from the east end to the west end. The trailhead here is not clearly marked, but you can see the valley from the road. There is a kiosk just inside the trail and it is a good place to stop. Just west of the trailhead and still on highway 163 are Flag Butte, a smaller butte immediately next to the trailhead, and Scotchman Butte, a bigger butte a bit farther west from Flag Butte. A thin part in Scotchman Butte marks the Devil's Window. A bit farther into the trail from the kiosk is Seven Sailors just to the west of the trail. You can see the individual "sailors" as vertical chunks in the butte. Ahead in the distance you can see a narrow butte (almost a spire) next to a bigger one. The big one is Rooster Butte and the small one is Setting Hen Butte. You'll get closer to these two buttes as you progress along the trail. As you come around Rooster Butte you'll see the thin and tall Franklin Butte to the left of the trail and Pyramid Peak to the right, a pyramid-shaped hill of red rock. Just ahead of Franklin Butte is the massive Battleship Rock. The trail has only one curve in it where it doubles on itself. On the inside of this curve is Castle Butte. After you do the curve, see the big butte on the right side of the trail called Rudolph and Santa Claus. Continue around the other side of Battleship Rock and pass two more buttes on the right side of the trail. After you round the third one since the curve, look for the Lady In The Bathtub on the right of the trail, to the west. You can spot her by finding Balanced Rock right next to it. The scenery continues as you work your way to the end of the trail. Just before the end is the Valley Of The Gods Bed and Breakfast, what used to be Lee's Ranch. It is the only home within the 360,000 acres of the Cedar Mesa Cultural and Recreational Management Area. At the end of the trail, you have the option of taking highway 261 south to Mexican Hat or you can take it north to experience the Moki Dugway. The dugway is a scenic and intimidating stretch of highway that twists and turns its way up to the top of the Cedar Mesa in a way that is usually reserved for 4x4 shelf roads. It is close by and should not be missed.