Exploring Mexican Hat, Utah continued
The area around Mexican Hat and Bluff, Utah has so many scenic and cultural areas to explore. I’ll share some photos from a couple other areas I visited while here.
Valley of the Gods
This is a beautiful valley filled with sandstone rock formations. It is located on BLM land between Highways 163 and 261. There is a 17-mile gravel/dirt road through the valley with many primitive camping sites along the route. It is touted by the State of Utah as a less-crowded alternative to Monument Valley. It is well worth the drive.
When the road is dry, most vehicles should be able to navigate it. The end near Hwy 261 is somewhat rougher. If the road is wet, then 4×4 may be required to get up some of the hills.
Johns Canyon Road
When I was up at Muley Point, I could see a grader down below grading Johns Canyon Road. I had wondered about driving that road in my truck. After seeing him, I figured if he could drive out there, I should be able to! One morning I drove the fourteen miles out to Johns Canyon Falls.
As the road nears Muley Point, the narrow roadbed hugs the side of Cedar Mesa in a couple places, with steep drop offs on the other side of the road. It did make me a little nervous but I got through okay.
I saw one large petroglyph panel along the road with some very nice drawings.
The road winds along Cedar Mesa past Muley Point, then turns up into Johns Canyon. The canyon is fairly wide up to the falls.
Butler Wash Road
Butler Wash Road runs from Hwy 163 up to Hwy 95 atop Cedar Mesa. The area visitor centers have rough sketch maps showing several ruins and petroglyph sites along the road. I tried to follow the map for traveling south to north (starting at Hwy 163). The first site is the Wolfman Petroglyph panel. It was very easy to find this location. There is a small parking area with a short hike to get to the panel. It is a beautiful panel and very well preserved. Sadly it has been damaged by what looks like gunshots.
The map gives the distance from the starting point to reach each site. However there are numerous turnoffs all along the road and there are no signs or trails. It is very difficult to find the correct locations. Many involve bushwacking through heavy brush to get across Butler Wash and then hiking up into the canyons. I got off track with the mileage and so decided to leave this for another time.
It was fun exploring this area. I would like to return another time and camp up on Cedar Mesa. There many hiking trails and sights to see up there.