Goosenecks State Park and Valley of the Gods are two sites worth the visit but we were short of time and had to skip these places. May be next time ! However, even if you do not make any visit and only drive the Mokie Dugway, I strongly advise to do it in order to admire these superb landscapes.
We were lucky that a storm was brewing in the background, which made an even more dramatic landscape ! And what a background, Monument Valley itself ! I feel (not absolutely sure) that on the right of the picture, one of the Mittens is showing, still lit by the sun, while the other is further right and already dark, in the storm.
When you drive from Natural Bridges National Monument to Monument Valley, you can take road 261 (the Mokie Dugway) for 50 km. It is an excellent dirt road with a great landscape and if you are used, as we were, to mountain roads and do not care for winding roads at the edge of the abyss, you must do it !
Natural Bridges National Monument
Natural Bridges protects some of the finest examples of ancient stone architecture in the southwest. The monument is located in southeast Utah on a pinyon-juniper covered mesa bisected by deep canyons of Permian age Cedar Mesa Sandstone. Where meandering streams cut through the canyon walls, three natural bridges formed: Kachina, Owachomo and Sipapu.
At an elevation of 6,500 feet above sea level, the Monument is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Plants range from the fragile cryptobiotic soil crusts to remnant stands of Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine. Natural Bridges was established in 1908, making it the oldest National Park Service site in Utah.
Goosenecks State Park
An incredible series of tight switchbacks of the San Juan River gives the area its name. It offers the visitor a close-up view of an entrenched river meander, one of the most striking and impressive examples on the North American continent. The 1,500 foot deep chasm meanders 6 miles while advancing only 1 1/2 miles.
On the parking lot next to the viewing area, Indians often sell their homemade souvenirs.
Driving the Mokie Dugway you get great views on the most southeastern part of Utah. You look down to The Valley of the Gods and
Goosenecks State Park.
Coming from Natural Bridges National Monument you can drive down to Mexican Hat.
Great views and exciting road to drive.
monument valley is a valley with buttes, mesas, canyons and free standing rock formations that defy gravity.
archaelogists have recorded more than 100 ancient Anasazi sites and ruines dating before A.D. 1300.
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