Michael A. Stecker


Utah's Goosneck State Park, just north of Monument Valley, is located four miles from the Utah Highway 261 turnoff from US 163 near Mexican Hat.  It features an incredible series of tight switchbacks of the San Juan River giving the area its name.  The river meanders back and forth, flowing for more than five miles while progressing only one linear mile toward the Colorado River and Lake Powell.
On a plateau overlooking the Great Goosenecks you can look into a 1,000-foot-deep chasm carved through the Pennsylvanian Hermosa Formation by the silt-laden San Juan River.  Here, over 300 million years of geologic history is exposed. Environments ranging from wind-blown deserts to stream covered plateaus, ancient seas and volcanic intrusions are encompassed in the formations you see. The canyon is the result of erosion.