Tucked 1,100 feet beneath the rim of southern Utah's Cedar Mesa, the Valley of the Gods is easy to miss ― especially if you're in a hurry to get from "here" to "there" without paying attention to "where" you are. It isn't on some maps, and most motorists who do make their way into the valley of towering sandstone monoliths do so spontaneously after spying the small road sign. Many of these people are spellbound by the valley's beauty and find themselves changing plans and spending the night ― provided they have camping gear or luck into a room at the hidden Valley of the Gods Bed & Breakfast.
Thirty-three miles north of Monument Valley, the Valley of the Gods seems like an afterthought even to the Bureau of Land Management, its steward. Nowhere on the agency's website is the valley mentioned. In hindsight, that isn't exactly a bad thing, for solitude is one of the valley's blessings. Yet, surprisingly, it really isn't hard to find.
Hemmed by the V north of the junction of State 261 and U.S. 163, the Valley of the Gods is a stunning, 50-square-mile basin studded with intricately eroded sandstone spires, buttes, and towers. Navajo legend says that the towering sentinels in this sprawling, ocher-hued amphitheater are warriors turned to stone. A day or two spent drifting across this landscape allows one to ramble the picturesque geology in solitude that's a rare commodity in nearby national parks.