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  • Writer's picturePaul Depperschmidt

Valley of the Gods

Updated: May 23, 2023

Heading from Earp to Moab runs through some of the most scenic mountains and rock formations in the west. The heart of this area is Monument Valley where we stayed at a new KOA for a couple of days. We had it almost to ourselves as the winter was heading in and Covid had the local Indian tour areas closed. Our travels had us in this area before, but only by air. Page, Lake Powell & Monument Valley ( This time we got to see more on the ground. There is a lot more to see and great Jeep trails to discover. And since this is not National Park area it was possible to use the drone a bit.

The area we explored is near the four corners area of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona and deep in tribal Indian lands. This is very desolate country with few services. Best to bring what you really need with you.

Evenings at the KOA were impressive with the sun setting on some of Americas most iconic monuments. And a view of those same mountains where John Wayne and the Cavalry battled with the Navajo and Apache nations could be seen from our dinner table.

Heading east is another iconic view, this one from the movie Forrest Gump at the end of his running sequence. It is a popular tourist stop and drivers have to constantly watch for people laying on the road having their picture taken. It pays to go slow in this area.

Next stop was a small town called Mexican Hat. And it is called that for good reason. Check out this rock formation.

Got to break out the drone without attaching it to the plane for a change. No airports within 30 miles. No state or local drone rules. Wide open space. But check out what showed up to buzz Mexican Hat at the end of the video. Aircraft trump drones, so down it came. Of all the places...

A little further East was the Valley of the Gods. There is a county dirt road that runs through it which made a great Jeep trail for us. I unpacked the drone again, but the results were not so great. Need a little practice. The trail was absolutely fantastic and well worth the time to explore it. There were campers boondocking who had some absolutely fantastic sunset views of the area. And we drove the Moki Dugway, a county road that winds its way up a steep cliff area offering some stunning views of the valley. Not sure where the name comes from.

Next stop, Moab!

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