Utah State Route 261

Coordinates: 37°16′18″N 109°56′10″W / 37.2717635°N 109.9361948°W / 37.2717635; -109.9361948

State Route 261 is a state highway located entirely within south-central San Juan County, Utah. It runs 34 miles (55 km) north, from the junction of U.S. Route 163 (3 miles (4.8 km) north of Mexican Hat), to the junction with State Route 95, just east of Natural Bridges National Monument.

State Route 261 marker

State Route 261
Route information
Defined by Utah Code §72-4-132
Maintained by UDOT
Length32.961 mi[1] (53.046 km)
Major junctions
South endUS 163.svg US-163 near Mexican Hat
 Utah SR 316.svg SR-316 near Goosenecks State Park
North endUtah SR 95.svg SR-95 near Natural Bridges National Monument
Highway system
  • State highways in Utah
Moki Dugway.
Approaching the Moki Dugway from the South.
Southern terminus of SR-261

The highway is part of the Utah section of the Trail of the Ancients, a National Scenic Byway.[2] It includes steep switchbacks as it traverses the Moki Dugway.[3]

Route descriptionEdit

From its southern terminus north of Mexican Hat, SR-261 commences in a westerly direction. After turning north, the route encounters the Moki Dugway, becoming an unpaved road for its ascent up onto Cedar Mesa, only to return to being paved for the rest of the route to its terminus at SR-95 just east of Natural Bridges National Monument.[4]


The Moki Dugway was constructed in 1958 by Texas Zinc, a mining company, to transport uranium ore from the "Happy Jack" mine in Fry Canyon to the processing mill in Mexican Hat. The State Road Commission added SR-261 to the state highway system in 1957, following its present alignment from SR-47 (now US-163) north of Mexican Hat to SR-95.[5]

Major intersectionsEdit

San JuanMexican Hat0.0000.000  US-163Begin SR-261
San Juan County0.8741.407  SR-316
32.69152.611  SR-95End SR-261
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b "State Route 261 Highway reference". Utah Department of Transportation.
  2. ^ Trail of the Ancients Features Map - Utah Section, from the website of the National Scenic Byway Program
  3. ^ Photo and description of the Moki Dugway from a U.S. Geological Survey website
  4. ^ "Google Maps". Google.
  5. ^ Utah Department of Transportation, State Route History Archived 2007-02-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed July 2007

External linksEdit

  Media related to Utah State Route 261 at Wikimedia Commons