It was back up the Moki Dugway, that love-it-or-fear-it stretch of Utah Highway 261 that goes from the San Juan River valley floor near Mexican Hat up onto Cedar Mesa. Up 1,100 feet in elevation in just three miles of unpaved road.
But once you’re familiar with it, most people come to love it. How spectacular!
From the bottom, it’s challenging to look at that all-but-sheer cliff face and wonder: how does a road go up THERE? Where? Is there such a thing as an elevator for cars?
There is plenty of warning that the otherwise very gentle and beautifully paved Highway 261 is going to be interrupted by something requiring caution. A series of signs at either end of the Dugway attempts to discourage drivers of large vehicles. And for passenger cars, what about “steep mountain curves, 5 MPH (etc.) do you not get?
Once on top of Cedar Mesa, I took the dirt road out to Muley Point, one of my favorite spots. The country road crew had even plowed it open.
Looking down onto the Goosenecks of the San Juan River from high above was especially attractive now that they had snow on them. I like to get some shots of the rim of Cedar Mesa when I can, to give the scene some sense of scale.
Snow on all the layers and meanders of the Goosenecks is almost dizzying to contemplate.
Photo location: San Juan County near Mexican Hat, Utah.
Copyright 2016 Stephen J. Krieg