Valley of the Gods Camping, Mexican Hat, Utah
I really debated whether to go camping at Valley of the Gods in Mexican Hat, Utah. It is very out of the way and there is not much here, but I’m so glad I did.
The drive from Sedona was beautiful and the terrain changed from the high desert forest and deep canyons to sandy rolling hills to breathtaking rock formations. It was late in the day when we drove through nearby Monument Valley and it was amazing, but I didn’t stop for pictures because I wanted to find a campsite before dark.
The sand and rock are deep rusty red and there are bushes in a silver-green. The contrast, along with the bright blue sky make for stunning views. I would estimate there are around thirty other campers in the entire area. There are two entrances to the valley and a loop road runs seventeen miles one entrance to the other.
The access road to Valley of the Gods camping is a dirt road and is pretty rough in places. If you come in through the south entrance, you’ll need to pass over a cattle grate and drive through a wash. There was some water in the wash but nothing more than puddles and I had no problems there.
I arrived late in the day and needed to find a spot to camp for the night before dark so I only went in about three miles. I found a large pullout with a fantastic view and leveled the trailer for the night. As the sun went down, I spent a few minutes looking at the view with my mouth agape before I remembered to take some pictures.
The next morning, I unhitched, and we drove the loop road to make sure we had the best available spot. The road was definitely a challenge which is why I left the trailer behind. If I had found a better spot, I would have taken the trailer in, but I would absolutely not take a large motorhome in. There are a lot of steep dips and I don’t think that would end well.
I like the views from the area where I’m camping better than the views further in and on the north side. If you drive the loop and exit at the north entrance, to the right is Moki Dugway which is a winding dirt and gravel road up and over Cedar Mesa with sharp switch-backs. The road is clearly marked as not suitable for large vehicles, trucks, etc. It makes a fun side-trip while enjoying Valley of the Gods camping.
Cell service is terrible. I am generally on 1x or Roam with Verizon. I am able to get a signal and some weak AT&T Wi-Fi in the mornings but by noon, it is gone. There were a few places around the loop where I got a good Verizon signal. I’m definitely trying to manage online activity so I can get things done while I have a connection. If you work on the road, Valley of the Gods camping may not be a good place for you to camp but do visit if you get the chance.
Just south of Valley of the Gods is Monument Valley, the place where Forest Gump finally stopped running in the movie and it was a big part of the animated movie Cars. I’ve always wanted to see it. I drove through on my way here and I loved it but it was far too late to stop.
The Monument Valley Tribal Park is closed at this time due to COVID19. It is part of the Navajo Nation and on reservation land. I understand you can camp in Monument Valley but only with a permit.
Valley of the Gods is a completely primitive area. There is no water, no dump station, no stores, just a whole lot of amazing rock formations and red sand. There is no charge to camp here and you can stay up to 14 days. Campfires are not permitted. There are some hiking trails along the loop, but other than that, there really aren’t any activities so bring your own. The altitude is 4,650 feet and in April the temperatures were in the mid-70s during the day and the mid-30s at night.
The nearest towns are Bluff, Utah, 19 miles to the north, and Mexican Hat to the South. There is a Shell Gas Station 10 miles to the south. The nearest dump station is 66-miles north in Monticello, Utah at the Maverick Station.
things to do in the area
Goosenecks State Park is a few miles down the road and you can camp there but there are no amenities there either and they charge a nightly fee.
Four Corners Monument, where New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah come together is roughly 70 miles southeast of here. That’s a fun stop.
Pack up everything you’ll need to get by for the duration. Make sure you have plenty of water and take that road slow and easy. Enjoy the views!
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