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Monument Valley: what exactly should we see?


Joe Frickin' Friday

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Joe Frickin' Friday

Will attend spring Torrey in May; on the last day of our journey to Torrey, Shawn and I expect to hit Mexican Hat/Mokee Dugway, and may also detour to Monument Valley.

 

If we go to MV, what exactly should we see there? This map shows the local roads in some detail. There's a paved road that goes for a couple of miles east/west of US163, and dirt roads continue further. Is it worth riding either of these roads to or beyond the end of the pavement? This ride would be "the long way" from Moab to Torrey, about 350 miles total if MV is included, so I'm not looking to spend three hours there; OTOH, it'll probably be a while before I make it back to MV, so I'd like to not miss anything significant.

 

What say you?

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I would go to the famous mile marker (I'll look it up for you) and take the pictures then skip it. I hear the tour is good but if you are not going to do that don't spend any more time there. If you are up to a good dirt road go through the Valley Of The Gods near the Mokee Dugway, fantastic monuments and cliffs in there and you are very close to them.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
I would go to the famous mile marker (I'll look it up for you) and take the pictures then skip it. I hear the tour is good but if you are not going to do that don't spend any more time there. If you are up to a good dirt road go through the Valley Of The Gods near the Mokee Dugway, fantastic monuments and cliffs in there and you are very close to them.

 

Dirt/gravel roads aren't a problem, as long as there's not a lot of deep sand; we'd be travelling on 1200RT's.

 

If we had to choose just one of them, which would you recommend, MV, or VotG?

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I haven't done the 17 mile MV drive so I'm not really qualified to answer that. It gets a lot more traffic than VoG. MV is an icon though and nobody has heard of VoG.

 

Somebody done both?

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I'm in the same boat.

 

My general feeling is that all the roads in the area are subject to blow sand when dry and sucking mud when wet. But I haven't been out there on 17 mile loop road. It may be improved. I just don't know.

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My general feeling is that all the roads in the area are subject to blow sand when dry and sucking mud when wet. But I haven't been out there on 17 mile loop road. It may be improved. I just don't know.
From what people on TripAdvisor say the roads sound very similar.
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Will you be touring Island in the Sky? If you have three hours and are starting in Moab, I might suggest IITS or Arches.

 

Both have fully paved access. IITS views are every bit as iconic as MV. Dawn/early morning is an especially good time IITS. Afternoon in MV may be more washed out, and it doesn't sound like you want to hang out for sunset.

 

Google Mesa and Washerwoman Arches (in IITS) if you are willing to get up well before dawn for a bit of a hike to a sunrise treat. Otherwise, or additionally, google Green River Overlook for an idea of the rest of IITS.

 

The road into IITS is worthy, as well.

 

Arches is also worthy, but more intimate and less vistas. Tends to be more vehicles and less moto friendly because of a large number of stops (short walks to features).

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IMO just going through MV is worth it, we have been there many times. There is a campground/hotel right in the middle of it just north of the AZ border on Oljeto Rd called Gouldings trading post and lodge, in the Navajo Indian Reservation.

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THe road to see the goose necks and the Moki Dugway road.

If you haven't downloaded Google Earth you may want to. A virtual tour can be enlightening.

3 hours in a land as big as that is like taking in the whole of the Smithsonian museums in 3 hours.

I've stayed at Gouldings a time or two. Best in the area.

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Shannon and I did Arches last spring and it was not worth the few dollars admission from our impressions. YMMV, but...

 

I wanted to do the VotG ride but SOMEONE didn't want to ride extra dirt...

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Joe Frickin' Friday
Will you be touring Island in the Sky? If you have three hours and are starting in Moab, I might suggest IITS or Arches.

 

I saw IITS in '04; the views are indeed amazing. Shawn and I (and Raaaaan) all saw Arches in '03; that place is interesting if you've got time (and clothing) to do some hiking, but the riding in there didn't really get our blood flowing.

 

Shawn and I also saw Dead Horse Point in '07.

 

There is a ton of good stuff to see in western Colorado and southern Utah, but Shawn and I are making it a point to try to hit stuff that we haven't seen before (or at least haven't seen in a long time).

 

Both have fully paved access. IITS views are every bit as iconic as MV. Dawn/early morning is an especially good time IITS. Afternoon in MV may be more washed out, and it doesn't sound like you want to hang out for sunset.

 

From MV it'll still be a couple hundred miles to Torrey, so no, unfortunately sunset at MV isn't going to be an option for us.

 

...called Gouldings trading post and lodge...

 

Shawn may want to ride there just to get a picture taken in front of the sign. :grin:

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  • 3 weeks later...
Joe Frickin' Friday

Next question:

 

Are there restaurants in Mexican hat? Fuel? If not there, where would the nearest be found? Blanding?

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Next question:

 

Are there restaurants in Mexican hat? Fuel? If not there, where would the nearest be found? Blanding?

 

There is a 24 hr gas station with a microwave in MH. It may have limited hot food at peak times. A couple of restaurants, but check their hours in advance. I think one has a good view, but we've never quite gotten inside. Down in the MV there is a restaurant at Gouldings that is ok and has decent hours.

 

From MH north to Torrey I believe there is a chance of something microwavable at the Hite Marina, but don't count on it. Next services will be at Hanksville. You should be ok there.

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http://www.deseretnews.com/article/640188561/Mexican-Hat-is-a-highlight-of-road-food-tour.html

This place was featured on the"Feasting on Asphalt"series with Alton Brown a few years back.

This was the series where he and his crew were riding the country on BMW's and sampling food at numerous interesting places.

 

http://www.sanjuaninn.net/the-inn/

Ate lunch at this place after a fall Torrey and my most recent trip down the Mokee Dugway a few years back,food was

good,nothing special.Atmosphere is unique with lots of road/travel relics.

It's right on the edge of town,at the bridge.

 

JR356

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Next question:

 

Are there restaurants in Mexican hat? Fuel? If not there, where would the nearest be found? Blanding?

 

Famous Swinging Steak in Mexican Hat. (made famous by chef Alton Brown on one of his motorcycle trips)

 

We thought it was good!

 

Steve

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