- Code Number:
Mokee dugway, Highway 261, Roadway, Dirt Road, Road, Moki, Moqui, San Juan County, Utah, unpaved
- The Mokee Dugway is located on Utah Route 261 just north of Mexican Hat, UT. It was constructed in 1958 by Texas Zinc, a mining company, to transport uranium ore from the "Happy Jack" mine in Fry Canyon, UT. to the processing mill in Mexican Hat. The three miles of unpaved, but well graded, switchbacks descend 1100 feet from the top of Cedar Mesa. The State of Utah recommends that only vehicles less than 28 feet in length and 10,000 pounds in weight attempt to negotiate this steep (10% grade), narrow, unpaved and winding road.
The term "mokee" is derived from the Spanish word moqui, which was a general term used by the 18th century Spanish explorers and settlers in this region to describe the Pueblo Indians they encountered and the vanished culture which had left behind the numerous ruins they discovered during their travels. This term continued to be used by the Anglo pioneers, who moved into southern Utah during the 1800's, and their descendants.
Today the standard term used to describe these prehistoric Native Americans, who lived in this region more than 1000 years ago, is "ancestral Puebloans". It is based on present day Puebloan tribes' and archaeologists' beliefs that these people were the ancestors of today's Hopi, Zuni, Acoma and Rio Grande region cultures. You may also see them commonly referred to as the "Anasazi", a Navajo word meaning "enemy ancestors".
The views afforded on this drive are unique, and often breathtaking. Even though most of the road is not paved, it is in very good condition given the precarious nature of this drive.
Utah, Nature, Scenes, Scenery, Scenic, Travel, Natural, Geoform, landscape, Southwest USA, geological formation, geology, Road Transport, Automotive Transportation, Vehicular, Travel, Mobile, Mobility, Technology, History, Archives
- Image by:
- Wernher Krutein