There are many hair raising scary roads out west that are a thrill to experience. Some of the most dangerous are the old dirt roads that run through the mountains and in particular, the old prospecting dirt roads usually take the cake for being the most challenging. Mining road engineers tend to prefer the shortest distance to the objective when planning a road, so the pathways tend to go over obstacles instead of taking the long way around. For this reason, mountain mining roads are guaranteed to be narrow with many tight switchbacks, which can be an overwhelming proposition for an uninitiated driver.
The Moki Dugway is a prime example of a narrow dirt road with tight switchbacks that was engineered by a mining company. The Moki Dugway was constructed in the 1950s, so this dirt road actually is not that old, but it certainly was designed with the shortest distance to the finish line in mind. This dirt road simply does the impossible, which is to scale the towering vertical cliffs on the edge of Cedar Mesa.
Endless tight narrow switchbacks with two way traffic that includes heavy trucks is what awaits on the Moki Dugway, so this is a good place to have nerves of steel. There are vehicular restrictions for this thrill ride, so it is best to heed the signage before starting the trek. Keeping the speed in check is the main thing to remember, especially when doing the Moki Dugway downhill run, because a vehicle can start to slide on the loose gravel and it is a very long way down over the edge. People have died on this road and a crushed vehicle can be seen in a ravine near the top, so taking it slow is the only way to go.
The views from this end of Cedar Mesa extend to the horizon in Monument Valley, so the Moki Dugway truly is a stunning visual experience. There are a few wide sections where a vehicle can be safely parked, which are good for taking the majestic views in. Fortunately the Moki Dugway is not the busiest road in the west, but it is still best to be aware of oncoming traffic in the hairpin turns. The Moki Dugway most definitely is a scenic drive worth taking on for the sake of adventure and this challenging old mining road is guaranteed to get the adrenaline flowing for the rest of the day!
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