Olympus of the Ground – Valley of the Gods

We left our camping site outside of Natural Bridges and headed South on Route 261 back towards Arizona.  It’s a pleasant if uneventful stretch of road that connects to Route 163, running mostly straight through trees and across dry river beds.  We were well into our half-spaced out driving state of mind when came upon this.

So that’s what those switchbacks on the map were for.  If you are ever in the area and plan on visiting both Moab and Monument Valley, please by all means take Route 261 South.  It’s amazing.

Now that Nature had reminded us that, yes, we had been on a mesa the whole time, it was time to drive down it, gawking all the while.

Apparently, there are some campsite on roads slightly West of Route 261 that look out over this entire valley and while that sounded nothing short of fantastic, we decided that climbing back up this would be a real nightmare and that we’d rather just camp down in Monument Valley.

Valley of the Gods

Since I had heard this name several times in my life, I expected a lot more development or at least one nicely established building.  But there’s actually very little out there save for one driving road and I have to admit that I like it better that way.  The camping is superb, the rocks are amazing, and you can pull over at any of the pull-outs along the road and camp.

Which is precisely what we did.

Valley of the Gods is majestic, humbling, and at a scale – both time and space – that shows you how tiny you are.  It’s wonderful.

Night Sky

And that’s to say nothing of the star gazing.



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