Quick Stop: Goosenecks State Park

Located in San Juan County, Utah, this entrenched meander is overlooked by many when traveling through the area. The canyon has been carved out by the San Juan River over millions of years and unlike the more known Horseshoe Bend, this view will give you a triple dose of “meanderingness.” I highly recommend this place as a quick stop if you are in the area, because it’s only a short trip from other more known destinations like Monument Valley. In fact, the spires and buttes you’ll see in the background at Goosenecks are actually the monoliths of Monument Valley off in the distance.

Goosenecks State Park

Goosenecks State Park by Daniel Gillaspia

The park is open 24 hours and there is no entrance fee. Once you arrive, there’s a parking lot right next to the viewpoint, so you won’t even have to hike to check out the site. I recommend going every early in the morning or evening, because the light can be harsh during the afternoon and make it difficult to capture photos. Also, be sure to attempt some panoramic shots out here to capture the entire triple meander.

Quick Tip: Bring some bug spray with you out here! When I went in May there was a cloud of little bugs shrouding me the entire time I was trying to take photos. I’m not sure if I just caught it at a bad time (fly mating season?) or if they are always there but if you want to be on the safe side bring some bug spray.

If you’re looking for a trail to go down to the San Juan River, then look into doing the strenuous, 5 mile roundtrip Honaker Trail. It will definitely be a challenge but it might be the best way to experience Goosenecks other than doing a guided raft tour of the San Juan River.

For more info:

  • Utah State Parks: (435) 678-2238
  • http://www.stateparks.utah.gov/park/goosenecks-state-park

Feel free to check out my Flickr account and Facebook page!

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