Embarking on a journey from Utah to Monument Valley, we found ourselves captivated by the exhilarating and picturesque Moki Dugway. This three-mile stretch of unpaved switchbacks on Highway 261 proved to be a memorable highlight of our trip, offering breathtaking views and a thrilling driving experience.
As we approached the Moki Dugway, we couldn’t help but feel a sense of anticipation and adventure. Its reputation as a “Hell Road” showcased on the Discovery Channel’s series, and the title of Utah’s most dangerous road intrigued us, and we were eager to experience it for ourselves.
Constructed in 1958 by Texas Zinc, a mining company, the Moki Dugway served as a means to transport uranium ore from the Happy Jack mine in Fry Canyon to the processing mill at Mexican Hat. It rose approximately 1,200 feet from the valley floor just past Valley of the Gods, up to Cedar Mesa, showcasing the engineering marvel of its time.
With caution and care, navigating the Moki Dugway was a thrilling adventure. The unpaved switchbacks led us on a rollercoaster-like ascent, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. As we climbed higher, the expansive vistas unfolded before our eyes, revealing the beauty of the region’s rugged terrain.
The dramatic drop-offs and hairpin turns were not for the faint of heart, but the rewards were immeasurable. Each turn presented a new perspective, with mesas, canyons, and sprawling desert vistas spreading out as far as the eye could see. The sheer grandeur of the landscape was humbling, leaving us in awe of nature’s majestic creations.
Descending from Natural Bridges to Goosenecks State Park and onward to Monument Valley, the Moki Dugway provided a spectacular route. The ruggedness of the dirt road added an element of adventure to our journey, making it all the more memorable. We traversed the switchbacks with caution, allowing us to fully appreciate the incredible scenery that unfolded around us.
Reaching Monument Valley, we were rewarded with the iconic sandstone buttes and mesas that have made this location famous. The experience of driving through the Moki Dugway enhanced our appreciation for the natural wonders that awaited us.
Although the Moki Dugway may be touted as a challenging road, with careful driving, it is an accessible and remarkable route for those seeking an unforgettable adventure. The road’s historical significance, combined with the awe-inspiring vistas it offers, makes it a must-visit for road trip enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
As we continued our journey, the memories of the Moki Dugway lingered in our minds. The sheer thrill of navigating its switchbacks, coupled with the majestic landscapes, made this leg of our trip truly unforgettable.
Note: While traversing the Moki Dugway, exercise caution, especially if you are unfamiliar with driving on unpaved roads or have a fear of heights. Always prioritize your safety and adhere to speed limits and road signs. Be aware of weather conditions, as road conditions can vary depending on the weather.