On our 16-day roadtrip we drove from one famous landmark to another, with highlights every single day. But along the way we passed many less known places as well. And it’s not because their name isn’t known all over the globe that it’s not worth it to take a quick pitstop and see what that place has to offer.
We tried to include as many of those places during our trip. You certainly can’t spend a couple of hours there, but these places are usually a perfect stop to stretch your legs and still be overwhelmed by nature.
Two of those stops were Mexican Hat and Goosenecks State Park.
Once you’ve passed Monument Valley (more on that later), the next big name is already up in Moab, but in between you have a few beautiful places to visit as well that don’t take up a lot of time and are worth a stop.
First one is Mexican Hat Rock. This curious rock formation can be found along route 163 and is impossible to miss. As the name suggests, it’s a rock shaped as a sombrero. There isn’t much more to tell about it, but it’s quite curious to see how nature has shaped this rock.
About ten miles away from Mexican Hat, you can find the Goosenecks State Park. It’s more a viewpoint than an actual park but definitely worth a stop. It’s open 24 hours a day, year-round and entrance is five dollars per car (up to 8 people). Once you’ve paid your entrance, you’re immediately at the parking lot and viewpoint.
From there you can see the San Juan river twist its way through the scenery for over six miles. The “goosenecks” are the result of over 300 million years of geological activiy. Quite impressive!
I wouldn’t have made a massive detour for either of these places, but since they were almost on our way, I didn’t want to miss out on it.