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Moki Dugway

Scenic Byways or Routes
The Moki Dugway as it winds its way from Cedar Mesa to Valley of the Gods. – Dave Krouskop

A 'dugway' was a means used to traverse a steep hillside with a wagon. A trench was cut into the hillside into which the uphill wheels of the wagon were placed and the wagon was then pulled by horses or oxen across the hillside. The wheels in the trench were supposed to keep the wagon from sliding down the hill. The Moki Dugway (also spelled Mokee or Moqui) is located on Utah Highway 261 just north of Mexican Hat. It was constructed in 1958 by Texas Zinc, a mining company, for transport of uranium ore from the Happy Jack mine at Fry Canyon to the processing mill in Mexican Hat. It consists of three miles of unpaved, but well-graded switchbacks descending 1100 feet from the top of Cedar Mesa to Valley of the Gods. Scenic views of Valley of the Gods and distant Monument Valley open at every turn of the Dugway. A scenic view pull-out is easily accessible near the top. The State of Utah recommends that only vehicles less than 28 feet in length and 10,000 pounds in weight attempt to negotiate the steep 11% grade of this narrow and winding road. There are few guardrails along the route. The route is not recommended for vehicles towing trailers or for motorhomes.

Driving Directions

From Mexican Hat, Utah drive northeast on US Highway 163 to the junction with Utah Highway 261. At that junction turn north or left onto U261. Follow U261 to the base of the cliff and begin climbing the Dugway.

Highlights and Key Points Along the Route

Scenic views of Valley of the Gods and distant Monument Valley open at the top of the dugway. Goosenecks State Park is accessible via paved road near the jucntion with US Highway 163 at the bottom of the dugway.

Length of Byway or Route

3 miles

Pet Friendly Notes

If you travel with pets, it is recommended that they be kept on a leash if out of the vehicle at any of the overlook locations along the route due to steep and long drops.

100+ degrees Farenheit in summer months and ice falls and below freezing temperatures in the winter plus precipitous cliffs preclude safely allowing pets to run free. Care is recommended if traveling with pets. Carry enough water for your pet at all times of the year.