Moki Dugway

_DSC0174_DSC0188Perhaps the most exciting part of the journey to Gooseneck was the route we took.  The Moki Dugway is located on UT-261.  The term moki is derived from the Spanish word, moqui, a general term used by explorers in this region to describe Pueblo Indians they encountered as well as the vanished Ancestral Puebloan culture.  Dugway is a term used to describe a roadway carved from a hillside. The Moki Dugway 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. The Moki Dugway was constructed in the 1950’s provide a way to haul ore from the Happy Jack Mine on Cedar Mesa to the mill in Halchita, near Mexican Hat. The State of Utah recommends that only vehicles less than 28 feet and 10,000 pounds attempt to negotiate the dugway.  The remainder of US-261 is paved. NO, we didn’t drive the Ole Red!

 

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