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2010/03/22 - Goosenecks State Park, Mexican Hat, UT

Posted 03-28-2010 at 05:28 PM by Phantom

Day 127, Camp 46 (3 nights FREE)
Goosenecks State Park
Mexican Hat, UT
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Drove down from Monticello, about 65 miles, through Blanding and Bluff. See map for route and roads. Goosenecks shows as a state park with no camping on my highway map, but a BLM officer told us there was free dry camping here. We drove into the place, (only about 4 miles off US 163) and found sites available in the view point parking area and all along the rim of the San Juan River Canyon. The view was spectacular! This is one of the premier examples of an 'incised meander' in the whole country. The river has cut a canyon over a thousand feet deep and 'meanders' in several broad loops, back and forth, spread out below you. Incredible. Across the highway the mountains are streaked with red and folded in waves. We had great cell phone and internet reception. Probably some TV as well, but we never tried. The stars were vivid, even with a first quarter moon. Nights close to freezing at 5,000' elevation. Dry camped for 3 days. This is a great place to camp for free and see the area. Only facilities are garbage cans and decent pit toilets. Spent one day touring through the 'Valley of the Gods', right next door... a 17 mile, rough, rocky road through what is known as a 'miniature Monument Valley'. Next day we drove about 24 miles south through Monument Valley. Stopped into the Navajo headquarters and paid the $5 per person fee to drive through the monument. Well forth the cost to see the spectacular rocks up close and personal. Had a light meal at the 'View Restaurant'. Spectacular. There is also a hotel on the rim next door with the same unbelievable view of the canyon. Sad part was the dozens of navajo shacks all along the highway... mostly closed or abandoned... selling jewelry and trinkets. The jewelry and rugs a the main trading post, attached to the restaurant, were of exception quality . Saw medium sized rugs up to $3200.
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  1. Old Comment
    qc1500's Avatar
    I just found out about your weblog. What a great pictures you made!
    Posted 04-19-2010 at 11:51 AM by qc1500 qc1500 is offline

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