Near Mexican Hat, Utah
You will gain more than 1100 ft
1 hour round trip
Spring, Summer and Fall
Dirt graded road. 10-11% road grades. Several hair pin turns.
Moki Dugway Road Start: 37.26785, -109.9351
You can do this route coming from Natural Bridges National Monument or you can do this from Mexican Hat. The Moki Dugway is very close to Mexican Hat and only took about 20 minutes to get to the base of the plateau that the road climbs up.
It is also in the same area as Valley of the Gods scenic drive so if you have time go do this drive too!
Moki Dugway is part of the scenic US Highway Route 261 located near Mexican Hat Utah. The Moki Dugway was created by a mining company back in 1958 so they could easily bring their ore for processing in Mexican Hat.
It is a simple dirt road which has been graded quite nicely but it makes several very sharp hair pin turns. We saw a few low clearance vehicles driving on this when we came through and they were going as fast as we were without any problems (15 MPH is the limit). There are a few washboards which made us slide a little bit but if you go slower and don’t drive crazy you will be fine.
It is steep with 10-11% grades. Not to mention the cliff edges are extremely dangerous and sometimes exposed. If you have a fear of heights, you may want to think twice before driving this route. I have a mild fear of heights and I started to freak out a little at some spots where I could see the valley floor 1000+ ft below.
There are a few retaining walls but overall there is nothing but a few feet of dirt to keep you from sliding off the edge. Looking back on the drive, it wasn’t that bad but the higher we got the easier it was to get freaked out! It was a fun and exciting drive for sure and one I will do in the future if I am down in the area.
If you look in the above picture to where there is a large gap in the rocks on the upper portion of the sandstone, once you get to the road up here, get out of your car and take the 100 yard trail to get the most amazing view you can get of the valley below! I’ll speak about this more later.
There are a few pull-outs along the way so you can let cars pass by you. The biggest pull out is at the last hair pin turn where we parked our car, took the pictures you see above, and hiked to that gap in the sandstone rock I mentioned earlier. This very short 100 yard jaunt leads to an incredible overlook which is almost a completely vertical drop to the bottom so be careful here!
You are almost at the top of the plateau now. Keep going up and you will have completed the Moki Dugway! Right before you are at the very top, take a look to your left and you may seem some old cars that people pushed over the edge…
The name alone, Moki Dugway, sounds weird and interesting and it seemed to bring people from all over the country to this spot. In fact, we were the only people with Utah license plates who were driving up and down this.