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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Moki Dugway, Utah

Utah has spectacular natural scenery, with most of it protected in National and State parks. There are so many of these that it took us two trips to see them all. We toured the western parks - Bryce Canyon and Zion a couple of years ago. This trip focused on the Eastern parks - Arches, Canyonland and Natural Bridges.

But sometimes the best scenery is just beside the road. Wilson Arch, south of Moab along U.S. 191 may be the best of the arches:

And this butte and surrounding formations near Monument Valley that we passed on U.S. 191 about thirty miles after leaving Natural Bridges might be the most interesting formation of all:

But for just plain "take your breath away spectacular," Moki Dugway is not to be missed. Leave Natural Bridges via Utah 261 and you can't help but notice this sign:

Follow that road for 23 miles of normal Utah scenery and you will find yourself at the top of Moki Dugway. Here the road turns to gravel, the speed limit drops to 5 m.p.h. and your find yourself at the top of the most interesting switchbacks that I've ever seen. The road drops 1100 feet in the next three winding narrow miles. Here is the view from the windshield:

And a couple of views over the side:

Once you are down, take a look back. It looks like the road drives straight into the bluff.

At the base, you could take a side trip into Valley of the Gods.

To ride a motorcycle to the top of Moki Dugway, try this YouTube Video.

For an exciting ride back down from the top in a semi, try this YouTube Video.

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