It was 10:00 by the time we left Archview RV Park and headed south on highway 191...our destination was Goosenecks State Park about 7 miles outside of a town called Mexican Hat. We particularly wanted to see this park because the couple whose blog we have followed for years (and years), RV-Dreams, visited it and the pictures of the canyon and river were incredible. It was also a good driving distance...2 ½ hours.
What a beautiful drive...the landscape of Utah varies so much from one area to the next...from flat, prairie-like to huge canyons and incredible rock formations...we are both quite enthralled with Utah. There so much more to see...we will definitely be returning to see more!
Just before noon, we arrived at the city of Blanding, Utah where we stopped at the Visitors Centre/Rest Area. The woman manning the centre was very nice and very informative about the area. She told us that Goosenecks State Park had incredible views, was paved all the way and we would have no problem getting our rig in...and...camping was free! I don’t think there are many State Parks where camping is free...this is certainly the first one we have heard of. She also suggested another area nearby to go and see as well as an ATV trail that has beautiful views. We asked her about filling up the 5th wheel with water...she wasn’t sure what was available on our route but said that we were more than welcome to fill up there at the Visitors Centre. We took a look at where the spigot was at the back of the centre, and although it would be tricky backing in, we should be able to manage it.
After filling the trailer up with water (and our two 5 gallon water containers), we had a bite to eat and then continued on our way. Beautiful red canyons (of course the pictures don't do justice)....
We arrived at Goosenecks State Park, a primitive park with no services...there are 4 sites each with a picnic table and garbage can...but really it is a huge open area with room for campers to park wherever they want...pure “boondocking”. There is also a small building housing vault toilets. There was absolutely no one there so we had our pick of where we wanted to camp. We pulled alongside a picnic table about 30 feet from the edge of the canyon...and what a view! Absolutely amazing!!
It is named “Goosenecks” because the San Juan River twists and turns through sinuous ‘goosenecks’ as it advances west on its journey to Lake Powell flowing over 6 miles (10 kms) while it advances to the west only 1 mile (1.6 km). The 1000 foot cliff rises above one of the most striking examples of an entrenched river meander in North America. “View layers of exposed geology in the canyon walls, revealed by 300 million years of erosion. The oldest rocks at the bottom of the canyon are between 310 and 270 million years old.” One of the best views we have had from our campsite!
We spent the next hour or so getting all set up. No problem getting a satellite signal here...a totally unobstructed view of the sky.
I got the chairs out and set them up at the edge of the canyon...well, actually, I had set them up well away from the edge but then Steve moved them much closer...for a much better view. Okay...just be careful...it is happy hour...