Reading the reviews for the Valley of the Gods roadway, people were saying that they drove it without an issue in their sedans. So surely we could drive it without an issue in our Saturn Outlook SUV.
OK…now having driven through Valley of the Gods in our SUV, I can honestly say that the people that have driven through there in their sedans were nuts. A vehicle with a high clearance is recommended and 4×4 is preferred. While we did OK, we are by no means considered high clearance. And yes, we did scrape the bottom of our vehicle a few times.
The road is sandy and bumpy with steep inclines/declines to be thrown in for more fun. There was one point where we approached a very sandy wash that had been pretty much washed out and in order to cross it I had to get out and guide David’s tires along the one path where he wouldn’t sink into the fine powdery sand.
We just kept commenting on how expensive it would be to have a tow truck come out and pull us out of the sand. You are after all, out in the middle of nowhere.
We did have fun though despite the nail biting once in a while. It would have been more fun to do this trail in a Jeep or some other type of off-road vehicle.
Hardly anyone else was around, I think we saw a total of half a dozen cars the entire time we drove the 17-mile road, which was very peaceful. There are plenty of places to pull over and stretch your legs and go for a hike. They even offer tent camping in some areas.
David took some opportunities to fly the quadcopter and get some nice aerial shots of the area.
While it wasn’t the best looking day being overcast and kind of gloomy, he managed to get some great video.
We were warned that flash flooding can occur at any point. Even if the rain is miles away, you could get trapped in this area with water fast filling the washes until it clears out again. It’s best to watch the sky and forecast and go when you know it’s clear. We had no rain when we went, however, towards the end we did see some rain in the distance.
It took a few hours to drive the 17-mile stretch road. So keep that in mind when planning your day.
Another thing to keep in mind when you are traveling this route is you are really close to Goosenecks State Park. This is a great little state park with some awe-inspiring views. So make sure you give yourself some time to make this short detour.
It’s a small state park with a self pay kiosk of only $2 bucks a vehicle. There’s not much else to do in this park but look at the magnificent views and the San Juan River, which carved it’s way through the desert at over 1000 feet below.
I would not recommend driving to it in a big rig, however, it could be done. You would just have to take your time as the road in and out is windy. There should be plenty of room to turn around only if the parking area is not full. The parking area is gravel, however the road in and out is paved. When we were there, there were a few people. It’s not a very popular state park I would imagine, as there are no hiking or biking trails.
It was worth the quick stop since we were in the area for Valley of the Gods and you drive right past the street that goes into the park.
All in all it was a great day of scenic overlooks and drives. Make sure you have plenty of water for both locations, as there is no shade.
You are in the Utah desert after all.
Here is a quick video David made with some low speed flying and high aerial views…