The Moki Dugway in Utah

Driving down the narrow, gravel Moki Dugway
The Moki Dugway
A way to transport uranium ore to the processing facility

The Moki Dugway. Originally built to get uranium ore from the valley floor to the processing plants on top of the cliff. Believe it or not, semi trucks used to and maybe still make the trip on this narrow, gravel road with no guard rails.

It took me 30 minutes to make the drive to the valley floor

I think this video is about 30 minutes long. It does take a while to make the trip down the cliff. The road has a few blind corners, and sometimes you have to stop and pull over a little for other, larger campers and motorhomes to pass. Very pretty views however. I took my time to be safe, and also to enjoy the drive and the views. Blanding is a close town to the Moki Dugway. I stayed in Blanding, Utah for two days. One day to see Monument Valley, and the other day to drive down the Moki Dugway.

The meaning of Moki

The Moki Dugway (also spelled Mokee or Moqui) is located on UT-261, just northwest of Valley of the Gods. 

The term moki is derived from the Spanish word, moqui, a general term used by explorers in this region to describe Pueblo Indians they encountered as well as the vanished Ancestral Puebloan culture.  Dugway is a term used to describe a roadway carved from a hillside.


The Moki Dugway is a staggering, graded dirt switchback road carved into the face of the cliff edge of Cedar Mesa.  It consists of 3 miles of steep, unpaved, but well-graded switchbacks (11% grade). The road winds 1,200 feet from Cedar Mesa to the valley floor near Valley of the Gods.  This route provides breathtaking views of some of Utah’s most beautiful sites.  Scenic views of Valley of the Gods and distant Monument valley open at every turn of the dugway.

Time of construction

The Moki Dugway was constructed in the 1950’s provide a way to haul ore from the Happy Jack Mine on Cedar Mesa to the mill in Halchita, near Mexican Hat.

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