How strange the world is. I remember when movement “Visit the place while it still exists in the current form” started. Climate change pushed people to travel more than anything else.
And yet the last year added one more threat to the natural landmarks. I mean, it happened here in the USA. The national landmarks have been cut. Two years ago we felt happy that Bears Ears were designed into the national monument. Utah is an amazing state. It’s marvelous what nature was able to create here.
Bears Ears are the jewel. It has so many uniques features – both natural and historical. I cannot understand how gas and oil could be better than them.
The Valley of the Gods the photos of which I’m sharing here was always on my list. It was one of the few places I was sad to leave behind during our 2016 Utah road trip. And it’s one of the places that were part of the Bears Ears.
These two factors added the place to our December trip to South West.
We stayed in Bluff, where the majority of places were closed for the Winter. Unable to get the decent breakfast (how glad I was I had few bags of the instant oatmeal in the car) we moved west to the Valley of the Gods. There are no hikes that one should take. But there is a loop that you can drive to check the major forms of the valley.
The Valley of the Gods even after the removal of the National Monument is still accessible to the general public as part of BLM lands. Also, BLM site has the map of the park. This site also has a description of the loop.
The road is gravel and has so many washouts that you need to have some high clearance vehicle or even better 4×4. And it’s better not to try to drive there when it’s rainy (and even after the recent storms). We started the loop from the exit from Hwy 163. In that place creek (partially frozen) crossed the road.
The road has many pullouts where you could stop and make the photos. Some are bigger some are smaller. Some have trailheads to the buttes and rocks.
Goosenecks State Park
There is another park in the area that I always wanted to visit.
It’s the place where San Juan river created deep canyon with a series of tight loops. There are no trails in the park just overlook. But one still could have access to the river via nearby Honaker Trail.