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“An Exhilarating Drive Down a Perfectly Drivable Switchback Unpaved Road Plus Tremendous Views”
Review of Moki Dugway

Moki Dugway
Ranked #105 of 1,105 things to do in Utah
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
London, UK
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
102 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 411 helpful votes
“An Exhilarating Drive Down a Perfectly Drivable Switchback Unpaved Road Plus Tremendous Views”
Reviewed 27 April 2012

I drove down the 'Moki Dugway' switchback road on a long day/drive from Capitol Reef NP, which went through the impressive Glen Canyon NRA then via Natural Bridges NM and the magnificent 'Muley Point Overlook', finishing at a motel in Mexican Hat, as part of my month-long tour of the Utah/Arizona natural attractions last year.

It starts less than a mile after the turn-off for the 'Muley Point Overlook', on Highway 261, and was along with that attraction the culmination of a very 'productive' and wonderful day.


I have compiled an extensive Trip Advisor 'Trip List' for my tour, which includes 'extra' attractions and also has links to the other individual TA reviews I've contributed for the accommodation/attractions I visited - it has been made a Trip Advisor 'Itinerary'; I hope it is of interest and use to you - I plan to add visitor information sections/viewable media sections..... The most direct way to access it is by clicking my review-count below my profile name to the left of this review text. Alternatively, see after my review below the dashed line...

It seems that for whatever reason, few people are aware of this tremendous 'switchbacked' section of road (the relatively low TA review-count reflects this). Look on a map and the north/south journey to/from Blanding/Moab isn't THAT much further if you go via these 2 adjacent attractions on Highway 261; also, it's not much of a diversion if going to/from Moab/Blanding to/from Capitol Reef NP....

Go 'direct' or avoid the detour and you're missing an experience of a lifetime, and it's better to go down that up !

The views from various overlook laybys near the start of the descent are very good, you can see far into the distance (south) and steep overhangs slowly reveal your intended route only once you peer over the edge - it's steep !

Heading south on the highway you obviously can't miss the switchbacks, BUT they can creep up on you as they only start proper after a long, sweeping left bend - there are plenty of warning signs beforehand though..... Before you start going down, do stop and check the views I've mentioned - parking is easy near the top, but rare and potentially unwise (but not impossible) enroute.

Highway 261 starts paved from either end but the switchback element is unpaved, well-graded and relatively narrow. Having said that, a brake test beforehand is recommended and don't go too fast as any urgent deceleration could invite an unwelcome skid - it's obviously best to go down with nobody coming up, but an oncoming 'meeting' should be readily negotiable. Sensible driving should make things perfectly safe, unless you ignore the State recommendation of a 28ft maximum vehicle length, 10000lb weight and it's not overly wide; the gradient is advertised as 10%...

The downloadable map of Glen Canyon NRA on the NPS website shows things pretty well, but does not represent the switchbacks in toto.

Visitor photos on this TA webpage already capture the views and approaches from north and south pretty well.

The descent down the 'Moki Dugway' switchback road is an exhilarating experience, with great views at the top - it should not be missed. The fact that the 'Muley Point Overlook' is so close-by seals the deal and makes this route an essential part of your Utah tour !


As well as the method described near the start of this review my TA 'Trip List' can also be accessed from the 'Utah Itineraries' link on the right of the Utah Forum page. Or the direct link is :


Alternatively, to search via TA, it is entitled 'Las Vegas to Zion, Bryce and other SUtah Natl Parks + Monument Valley-May 2011'.

Please feel free to send me messages with any questions.

Visited May 2011
6 Thank LPWilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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245 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Caution needed, but GOSH,IT'S BEAUTIFUL!”
Reviewed 11 March 2012

Ours was an unplanned drive down this dirt section of an otherwise paved road. Driving south from Utah to Arizona takes you downward into the vast valley below. Whomever is driving needs to concentrate on navigating the swithbacks on the steep incline. Controlling speed by being in a low gear is essential because braking hard causes you to skim/slide on the dirt/gravel = no control! A slow speed allows you to pull off at the viewpoints and actually stp, breathe again, revive your passengers and take a few pictures. Know how to set emergency brake and tie something onto your steering wheel to remind you to release it when you resume your downward journey. Even though signs warn about length of vehicle restrictions and towing boats/campers, we met two cars towing boats up the narrow road! There is no guard rail, so you slow to a near stop and hope your side mirrors don't get taken off...a nd that the edge of the road where you are is solid and will not collapse under the weight of your car! You get a reprieve from riding on the edge when you negotiate a turn and your next leg is hugging the inside...and hoping the road does not give way for the guy above you...and that big boulder stays put! Do not tailgate. Stop at the bottom and breathe a sigh of relief that you made it; take some pictures; then go home and brag how you drove this marvelous stretch of road!

Visited May 2011
4 Thank OhioJeanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Not as bad as a control freak like me would think”
Reviewed 2 February 2012

Drove down from the north side of the Moki Dugway so it was downhill all way! Take note that I, a girl who grew up on the prairies was not looking forward to this was of our trip from Canada to Phoenix but my husband was very excited to drive this himself.

I prepared myself with education and read other trip advisor reviews so I was Very Cautiously concerned as I do not handled this type of drive well. I tend to panic and want to close my eyes and hope for the best..

I was presently surprised as we drove down at the recommended 5 mph across the switch backs and found it most pleasant and the views and photo ops outstanding.

The weather was dry and 50 degrees and overall I really enjoyed the drive. Yes there is an element of danger as you have limited areas to pass and we did not find ourselves in a situation where cars had to pass.

My recommendation is drive slow , take your time and you will love it as much as I did.


Visited February 2012
3 Thank 911MARGOT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Strandhill, Ireland
Level 6 Contributor
343 reviews
145 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 214 helpful votes
“One of the best roads in the world!”
Reviewed 14 November 2011

This 3 mile dirt road has to be one of the best roads in the world to drive. You're crawling, barely going 10 mph and rightly so driving down the edge of a mesa cliff near Monument Valley! The views are stunning, and the road isn't dangerous, as side is banked up slightly so it's not straight over! We went top to bottom going downhill and it was great! Not far from here, 20 or so miles, you come across another mega piece of road that leads into Monument Valley itself, Highway 163 mile marker 13, the famous photographed road!

Visited October 2011
3 Thank irish_captain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntington Beach, California
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Every motorcyclist should ride this road at least once.”
Reviewed 23 September 2011

Wow!! The views were amazing. This dirt road snakes up the side of the mountain with very tight turns and steep grade. Some of the turns are paved. All need 100% concentration. We traveled on fully laden adventure bikes but most street bikes would be OK on this road.
Do be aware that it is a two-way road and you may meet big trucks coming the other way.
Once you make it up to the observation point, you're almost at the top.

Visited September 2011
Thank SilverPenguin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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