Mexican Hat, Utah – All stone: Gods’ valley and sombrero

Deep down below our place to sleep San Juan River perfectly doubles back in two 180°-angles. The blood-red sandstone is washed out several hundreds of meters deep. The river left spits that taper upwards and erode gradually. To have a good view to this horseshoe bend we have to climb down to a prominent headland and crawl on our stomach to the brim. For some pictures you have to make a greater effort. Not far away there is a “dead” horseshoe. One day the river found a shortcut and left a dried oxbow.

More western the Valley of the Gods Road branches off. The gravel road should be suitable for most cars but rain can make it impassable. The landscape there is created by rain, ice and wind. Lonesome monoliths tower into the air similar to the better known Monument Valley. With a minimum of fantasy you can recognize a warship, a castle, or a sitting woman with an ample figure. The best thing: There is no entrance fee. The 17 miles long road through the Valley of the Gods ends at hwy # 261 that we follow south to # 163. After ten miles, right before the town with the same name, we reach Mexican Hat Rock. The rock resembles a sombrero. It is better to take pictures from a distance. 30 miles later we cross the border to Arizona and reach Monument Valley in the Navajo Indian Reserve. We’ve been here on one of our earlier journeys, but we didn’t want to withhold Arminius from this pleasure. On the opposite side of the visitor centre is a gravel pit with a few pick-nick tables and chemical toilets. Actually not very attractive, but camping is free of charge and the view to the valley is magnificent.

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