Part 4: Moki Dugway Drive

Moki Dugway is one of those Utah hidden gems. Except, this one doesn’t glimmer. It stuns and gets your heart clamoring to exit your chest.

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We encountered Moki Dugway on our way from Natural Bridges National Monument to Monument Valley. It was my turn to drive. For as many road trips as I have under my belt, driving is still not my strength. It is a constant learning experience which leaves my passengers anxious. Kenon believes in giving me opportunities to practice for which I am grateful but there are still plenty of times when even I get nervous. This was one of those times.

Moki Dugway is located along UT – 261, just north of Mexican Hat. As I was driving along on this easy, paved roadway I started seeing signs saying “10% Grade Ahead” and “Caution, Gravel Road, 10% Grade.” These signs also gave mile updates – “20 miles ahead” then “10 miles ahead”. I started asking Kenon, “Are you sure this is the right way? Why would we be running into such a primitive road?”

Kenon was nonplussed as usual and kept telling me that I would be fine and yes this was definitely the way to go.

Finally, the mile sounds ran out and we were at the top of the road. Oh, the scary! Oh, the beauty! I quickly realized that this road is not only “on the way” but it is part of the destination, an attraction in itself.

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Moki Dugway is three miles of steep switchbacks (10% grade) that hug the side of Cedar Mesa. The road is well-kept gravel with tight turns. The entire way down passengers get incredible views of Valley of the Gods.

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Although I was white-knuckling all the way down, I am so glad we found this road. I cannot wait to take visiting friends and family through it! The views are unparalleled and the drive is a thrill comparable to a rollercoaster.

To find out where this road fits into the greater road trip visit “Easy Weekend Trip in Southern Utah”.

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Tips:
1. This road is not recommended for RV’s and trucks pulling trailers. If this is you, re-route through US – 163, through Blanding, to get to Monument Valley. If you try to attempt Moki Dugway, you will find yourself in a dangerous position.

2. There are viewpoints along the road with room for vehicles to pull off. Stop and take some pictures. This way the driver will get to see the views and will have an easier time keeping his or her eyes on the road. All the passengers will be thankful for this, too.

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