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Old 03-15-2016, 10:17 AM   #1
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The Moki Dugway

Doing the Moki Dugway

I am into mesa country. After doing Monument Valley ET-19 followed me deeper into south eastern Utah. Past Mexican Hat and after dramatic Goosenecks State Park, a roadside sign gave me fair warning. It warned trailer tow people and RV’ers over 28 feet to not continue on US 261 up on the Moki Dugway. I really wanted to go to the top of the Moki, to see Muley Point from the mesa overlook. But, I took that warning seriously and made a right turn off US 261. In BLM land again. Hoping to then find a spot for the night, the turn off took me into “The Valley of the Gods,” on the trail of the ancients.

Towing through this aptly named valley, I got a 23 mile long, red-rocking, dusty good ride up and down many dry washes. It had the gods speaking to me. They said, "Do you really think you can keep that trailer attached to the truck?" The rock formations I saw, Rooster Butte, Sitting Hen Butte, etc., were majestic enough, but could find no spot I wanted to stop for the night.

Finally out, I drove north, and then went 50 miles west to the Natural Bridges National Monument. Lovely campground there, $5 (senior pass) no hookups. Natural Bridges has a scenic 9 mile loop to 3 naturally eroded, massive sandstone bridges. You look down from the mesa overlook, or scamper down hiking trails to the bridges. At night, the sky is ablaze with stars.

On my way again late next morning. Decided I simply must take that ominous Utah route 261 south and get to see the Muley Point overlook. On red dirt now into Muley Point, another sign at beginning warned all vehicles if it was wet they would absolutely get stuck in the sticky red mud. Road was dry. The drive, 4 miles on concrete-hard red ruts to the edge of the mesa, was very much worth it. Muley Point is a very long, very isolated cliff edge. Absolutely no conveniences there. The place will challenge any need to turn your trailer around. It makes you wonder if you’re doing harm to your trailer but, what a view!

Now came the Moki Dugway. Dugway is a term used to describe roads carved into a hillside. Moki is a derivation of the Spanish word explorers used for its regional puebloan ancestors. The Moki is 3 miles of 11% graded dirt switchbacks. It’s a helluva ride and I was glad to be going down it, not up it. At one point there a pick-up came nose to nose with mine. It looked like somebody would have to start backing up a hundred yards to the last switchback. It wasn’t going to be me. I thought about busses going over the cliff in South America. We compromised. I pulled my rig over to within eleven inches of carved rock and he was able to slip past me on the outside.

Finally down to the bottom of the Moki, driving now past that other road, the one into the Valley of the Gods, I passed the intersection and gave it a mental thumb flip. These great areas are amazing but not particularly trailer-friendly. I really thought I stretched the envelope a tad.

Enough mesa-ing around. (Sorry.) On to Shiprock, gas up, late lunch at the Burger King.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg U-Goonek.jpg (384.7 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg UT-1.jpg (222.6 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg UT-2.jpg (116.9 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg UT-3.jpg (170.8 KB, 38 views)
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:23 AM   #2
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Thank you for this delightful post. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:31 AM   #3
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You really do have awesome adventures , love starting the day with a "Myron Story" ....
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:38 AM   #4
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Thanks much. That's Utah for you.
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File Type: jpg UT-5.jpg (73.4 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg Ut-8.jpg (121.4 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg UT-6.jpg (226.4 KB, 39 views)
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:38 AM   #5
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Wow, look at those stars!
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:57 AM   #6
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I can't believe you did that!! Unbeknownst to me at the time, a friend and I came that way (uphill) several years ago on a road trip. Approaching the bluffs, I wondered how we were going to get around or up them. But then we came to The Road from Hell. Faced with that grade and drop-off, I turned the car over to her. She was fine. I was absolutely terrified. I almost had to get out to walk (hugging the wall) part way up the road. I later related our daily route to my son on the phone and he knew exactly where we'd been having driven down it. Not my cup of tea. Nope, nada, nyet, no. Crazy.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:09 AM   #7
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Love your travelogues, Myron!
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:17 AM   #8
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Great stuff Myron.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:19 AM   #9
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Absolutely amazing Myron. Will get there one day.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:21 AM   #10
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Nice trip Myron! The last photo in post #1 reminds me of the Cottonwood Canyon road between Kodachrome Basin SP and Hwy 89. Beats going around to Carmel Junction and Kanab to go east on 89, but MAN what a rough road.
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