YOU CAN SEE A LONG WAYS FROM THE TOP
MOKI DUGWAY ROUTE 261:
Moki Dugway, located on Utah Route 261 just north of Mexican Hat, Utah is a staggering, graded dirt switchback road carved into the face of the cliff edge of Cedar Mesa. It consists of 3 miles of steep, unpaved, but well graded switchbacks (11% grade), which wind 1,200 feet from Cedar Mesa to the valley floor near Valley of the Gods. Moki Dugway is one of the most extreme drives in the Western US. It was constructed by a mining company back in the 50s as a shortcut for transporting uranium. Later, the state of Utah took over this section of the highway and named it Route 261. Moki Dugway itself is short and climbs fast. A series of switchbacks takes you back and forth hugging the cliffside as you scale the open face of the Mesa. The ride is short, only a few miles, but the road is narrow and gravel, but the view is stunning and worth the drive!
Road closures can be frequent, so check conditions before traveling to this area in winter months. The road includes three miles of unpaved, but well graded, switchbacks descend 1100 feet from the top of Cedar Mesa. The State of Utah recommends that only vehicles less than 28 feet in length and 10,000 pounds in weight attempt to negotiate this steep (10% grade), narrow and winding road. Most vehicles can travel the route safely. Caution is advised for motor homes or vehicles pulling trailers. A parking area near the top provides a stunning view of Valley of the Gods. It's a relatively easy gravel road to drive, for the driver, but if you're the passenger, sitting on the edge and your driver is enjoying the view. It's important for drivers to pay close attention as they are navigating their way through it. If road conditions result in an accident, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the state or municipality.
Route 261 between State Road 95 which leads to Natural Bridges & Bears Ears National Monument and Highway 163 which leads to Mexican Hat and Monument Valley.
If you are planning to drive from the northern part of the county to the south, or vice versa is route 261 is very scenic, and only slightly longer. Route on Hwy 95 & Hwy 261 makes a great side-trip, Hwy 95 takes you past a lot of popular hiking areas Including House on Fire Ruin in the South Fork of Mule Canyon & Butler Wash Ruins.
Continuing down Hwy 261, you will pass through the heart of Cedar Mesa and right past the Grand Gulch, one of our most popular areas for hiking & backpacking. And Just a few miles past the bottom of Moki Dugway, travelers can visit Goosenecks State Park. Whether you’re just passing through, or planning to backpack or camp for a few days, there’s no shortage of things to see & do in the area!