Hidden among the towers
A perfect base camp for those who don't want to roll out a sleeping bag is the four-room Valley of the Gods Bed & Breakfast. The ranch house, cut from stone in 1933, boasts a 75-foot-long covered porch fronting the spires, towers, and pyramids of the valley, rocking chairs at the ready. Inside, 2-foot-thick stone walls insulate against high summer heat. When a chill spills off nearby Cedar Mesa, the living room's fireplace blazes.
Each guest room has a quilt-covered bed and a bathroom with a stone-lined shower. Water is trucked in several times a week to top off a 2,700-gallon cistern, and electricity is generated primarily by the sun.
According to Gary Dorgan, who owns the property with his wife, Claire, the rustic elegance of the B&B attracts a steady, and surprisingly international, clientele determined to connect with the landscape.
"They've been to the Santa Fes and the Sedonas, and they're looking for something quieter and unique," he tells me as logs crackle and oil lamps cast their glow about the room. "They can entertain themselves and don't need a lot of infrastructure."