Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Moki Dugway Travel Guide

"Moki" is a local term for the ancient Puebloan people who inhabited the Colorado Plateau hundreds of years ago. "Dugway" is a term used to describe a roadway carved from a hillside.  The Moki Dugway is a 3-mile road of switchbacks and pull-off areas, carved from the cliff face and talus slope on the edge of Cedar Mesa. This route was originally constructed for trucks hauling uranium from the Happy Jack Mine on Utah Highway 95, to connect with US Highway 163 and continue on to the Millsite in Monument Valley.  Descending the Dugway at an 11% grade, Valley of the Gods is revealed below and Monument Valley seen in the distance.

  •  Location #1: The entrance is 69.1 miles southwest of Monticello. Travel 24.6 miles south on Hwy 191, through Blanding, to State Hwy 95, make a right onto 95; travel 28.4 miles to the start of UT Hwy 261-S. Make a left onto 261, travel 16.1 miles to the downward start of the Moki Dugway.
  •  Location #2: The entrance is 83.8 miles south of Monticello.  Travel 50.7 miles south on Hwy 191, through Blanding and Bluff; continue south on US Hwy 163 for 16.6 miles.  Make a right turn onto UT Hwy 261, travel 16.6 miles to the upward start of the Moki Dugway.

  • Travel Time: 1 hour for the entire length of Utah Highway 261.

  • Difficulty: Easy, this is a maintained dirt/gravel roadway accessible by passenger car/van/4-wheel drive/mountain bikes/motorcycles/dirt bikes.

  • Hiking: Caution recommended due to vehicular travelers.

  • RVs/Large Trucks and Semis/Towing of Trailers NOT allowed due to overhangs, sharp turns, switchbacks and blind corners

  •  Admission: Free

  •  Facilities – None; nearest town is Mexican Hat (10.6 miles south) or Bluff (27.6 miles north).

  • Camping – Not Allowed

  •  Pets – Must remain in vehicles

Personally, we enjoy going down the Moki Dugway as both driver and passengers can get access to the views.  Coming up, passengers tend to get a view of the rock walls, while the driver is constantly looking upward at the roadway.  

Mary Cokenour 

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