Leaving the San Juan Trading Post, after a Navajo Breakfast and as much coffe as I could drink, we headed N on the UT163, passing the eponymous "Mexican Hat" on our Right.
Just by way of signage, the UT163, and later the UT191 for part of "The Trail of the Ancients National Scenic Byway"
Taking the first real Left we headed NW on the UT261, taking a further left on the UT316 to the Goosenecks overlook - its a few km.
Photographs taken, we headed back to the UT261, and turning left carried on NW. Careful here as there may be some cattle on the road. As the sign says, "Open Range".
My Intention was to head up the Moki Dugway, carrying on to Natural Bridges Nat. Mon.. Having arrived there the road surface was really loose and badly rutted, with a lot axle tramp ruts everywhere, and I decided it was not suitable for my 750kg fully laden, two-up Electra glide which is definitely not dual sport, so instead we headed to the East, clearly signposted "Valley of The Gods".
[If you run out of tarmac on the UT261 after the first hairpin on the Dugway, you've missed the turn by about 800 yards]
The surface is mostly graded gravel, although there are washes where the sand can be loose and a more than a few inches deep. Take care and everything will be fine.
The road takes you through some magnificent rock formations, drifts, hoodoos, spires and if you stop, and listen. You will hear absolutely begger all, apart from the tinkling of your bike as it cools. Eerie Silence.
Hoped to see a road-runner, or even a coyote, maybe riding an Acme Rocket, but no such luck. Saw one car on the whole journey!
On the Harley we had a bit of a struggle through some of the deeper sand in the washes, but it was ok, and didn't need to dab or paddle to keep going. Should be a fantastic ride on a more dirt-capable motorcycle.
Upon reaching the UT 163 we took a Left heading NE and stopping for Coffee at the Sinclair Services at Bluff, before heading N on UT191 for Blanding, Monticello and eventually Moab for the night.
Hazard: Valley of the Gods road is loose gravel and sand. If you're on a big heavy roadster its going to be hard work: be prepared.
Hazard: Its a free Range: there may be cattle on the road.
Hazard: There may be deep sand in the washes.
Hazard: There is no water between Mexican Hat and either Bluff or the Ranger station at Natural Bridges if you stay on the Dugway.
Hazard: In summer its V hot.
Hazard: if you walk from the road in VotG, there may be wriggly and/or crawly animals.
Hazard: Road may become impassable very quickly following heavy rains on the nearby mountains.