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Jerry Pillarelli | profile | all galleries >> Travel and Nature >> US Travel >> Utah >> Valley of the Gods – Utah tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Valley of the Gods – Utah

Images of Valley of the Gods – Southeastern Utah, taken in May 2021.

In 2016 the Valley of the Gods was protected as part of Bears Ears National Monument. That classification was removed in 2017, however, this area is still administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and therefore currently has limited protection as the removal of the national monument designation is challenged in the courts.

This area is sometimes referred to as ‘Little Monument Valley’ because the formations are similar to what is seen in Monument Valley a mere thirty-five miles to the south. In fact, Monument Valley can be seen from the Valley of the Gods on most days. A seventeen-mile dirt road snakes through this wilderness and past a multitude of fascinating rock formations. I visited here twice, at sunrise and at sunset, to view the formations in the most interesting and dramatic light.

Nearby, on Utah Highway 261, are the Moki Dugway dirt switch backs; a road originally carved from the face of the cliff to haul uranium and vanadium to a mill in the valley below, it winds its way 1,200 feet down into the valley over three miles of dirt at an 11% grade. Today this route is mostly used by tourists who crawl through the sharp curves and along the steep guardrail-less roadway to get from one scenic site to another.
The Seven Sailors formation in Valley of the Gods
The Seven Sailors formation in Valley of the Gods
Castle Butte from the park road in Valley of the Gods
Castle Butte from the park road in Valley of the Gods
Closeup of Castle Butte bathed by the early morning sun in Valley of the Gods
Closeup of Castle Butte bathed by the early morning sun in Valley of the Gods
A balanced rock formation in Valley of the Gods
A balanced rock formation in Valley of the Gods
Battleship Rock in Valley of the Gods
Battleship Rock in Valley of the Gods
Castle Butte and Stagecoach Rock in the early morning in Valley of the Gods
Castle Butte and Stagecoach Rock in the early morning in Valley of the Gods
The morning sun on the Rudolph and Santa Claus formation in Valley of the Gods
The morning sun on the Rudolph and Santa Claus formation in Valley of the Gods
A dead tree framed by Stagecoach Rock in Valley of the Gods
A dead tree framed by Stagecoach Rock in Valley of the Gods
The Rudolph and Santa Claus formation with Castle Butte in Valley of the Gods
The Rudolph and Santa Claus formation with Castle Butte in Valley of the Gods
A balanced rock formation in the shadows of the early morning sun in Valley of the Gods
A balanced rock formation in the shadows of the early morning sun in Valley of the Gods
Castle Butte in direct early morning sun in Valley of the Gods
Castle Butte in direct early morning sun in Valley of the Gods
Remains of a dead tree in Valley of the Gods
Remains of a dead tree in Valley of the Gods
The early morning sun from around Castle Butte in Valley of the Gods
The early morning sun from around Castle Butte in Valley of the Gods
Front view of the Rudolph and Santa Claus formation in Valley of the Gods
Front view of the Rudolph and Santa Claus formation in Valley of the Gods
The morning sun on Stagecoach Rock in Valley of the Gods
The morning sun on Stagecoach Rock in Valley of the Gods
The Rudolph and Santa Claus formation, Stagecoach Rock and Castle Butte in Valley of the Gods
The Rudolph and Santa Claus formation, Stagecoach Rock and Castle Butte in Valley of the Gods
Stagecoach Rock and Castle Butte along the park road in Valley of the Gods
Stagecoach Rock and Castle Butte along the park road in Valley of the Gods
Front view of Stagecoach Rock in Valley of the Gods
Front view of Stagecoach Rock in Valley of the Gods
The Rudolph and Santa Claus formation, Stagecoach Rock and Castle Butte in Valley of the Gods
The Rudolph and Santa Claus formation, Stagecoach Rock and Castle Butte in Valley of the Gods
Balanced Rock on the west side in Valley of the Gods
Balanced Rock on the west side in Valley of the Gods
Warning sign at the base of the Moki Dugway dirt switchbacks in Valley of the Gods
Warning sign at the base of the Moki Dugway dirt switchbacks in Valley of the Gods
The roadway along the Moki Dugway dirt switchbacks in Valley of the Gods
The roadway along the Moki Dugway dirt switchbacks in Valley of the Gods
View of the Moki Dugway dirt switchbacks in Valley of the Gods
View of the Moki Dugway dirt switchbacks in Valley of the Gods
Utah 261 as seen from the top of the Moki Dugway dirt switchbacks in Valley of the Gods
Utah 261 as seen from the top of the Moki Dugway dirt switchbacks in Valley of the Gods
Sticker covered road signs along the Moki Dugway dirt switchbacks in Valley of the Gods
Sticker covered road signs along the Moki Dugway dirt switchbacks in Valley of the Gods
Balanced Rock in the early evening in Valley of the Gods
Balanced Rock in the early evening in Valley of the Gods
Late sunlight on a rock formation in Valley of the Gods
Late sunlight on a rock formation in Valley of the Gods
The Rudolph and Santa Claus formation and Stagecoach Rock near sunset in Valley of the Gods
The Rudolph and Santa Claus formation and Stagecoach Rock near sunset in Valley of the Gods
Late sunlight on a rock formation in Valley of the Gods
Late sunlight on a rock formation in Valley of the Gods
Castle Butte before sunset in Valley of the Gods
Castle Butte before sunset in Valley of the Gods
The Rudolph and Santa Claus formation, Stagecoach Rock and Castle Butte as the sun sets in Valley of the Gods
The Rudolph and Santa Claus formation, Stagecoach Rock and Castle Butte as the sun sets in Valley of the Gods
Sunset paints the landscape in Valley of the Gods
Sunset paints the landscape in Valley of the Gods
Stagecoach Rock and Castle Butte along the park road before sunset in Valley of the Gods
Stagecoach Rock and Castle Butte along the park road before sunset in Valley of the Gods
Formations as the light fades late in the day in Valley of the Gods
Formations as the light fades late in the day in Valley of the Gods
The sun sets behind the Rudolph and Santa Claus formation in Valley of the Gods
The sun sets behind the Rudolph and Santa Claus formation in Valley of the Gods
Stagecoach Rock in the late day sun in Valley of the Gods
Stagecoach Rock in the late day sun in Valley of the Gods
The sun behind the Rudolph and Santa Claus formation in Valley of the Gods
The sun behind the Rudolph and Santa Claus formation in Valley of the Gods
The moon behind Castle Butte in Valley of the Gods
The moon behind Castle Butte in Valley of the Gods
De Gaulle and His Troops formation in Valley of the Gods
De Gaulle and His Troops formation in Valley of the Gods
Rooster Butte turns reddish at sunset in Valley of the Gods
Rooster Butte turns reddish at sunset in Valley of the Gods
Battleship Rock just before sunset in Valley of the Gods
Battleship Rock just before sunset in Valley of the Gods
De Gaulle and His Troops formation just before sunset in Valley of the Gods
De Gaulle and His Troops formation just before sunset in Valley of the Gods
Castle Butte at sunset in Valley of the Gods
Castle Butte at sunset in Valley of the Gods
Jagged rock formation at sunset in Valley of the Gods
Jagged rock formation at sunset in Valley of the Gods
Monument Valley to the south from Valley of the Gods
Monument Valley to the south from Valley of the Gods