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Mexican Hat Rock

Colorado Plateau, Utah

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Mexican Hat Rock

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  • One of Utah's most impressive hoodoos.- Mexican Hat Rock
  • Ice-cream-cake layers of the Raplee Anticline.- Mexican Hat Rock
  • Mexican Hat seen from the less-traveled road behind it.- Mexican Hat Rock
  • Sunlight bouncing into the sombrero.- Mexican Hat Rock
  • Bend in the San Juan River and Cedar Mesa beyond- Mexican Hat Rock
  • This lush riparian zone seems out of place in the vast desert.- Mexican Hat Rock
  • Looking back on the Mexican Hat formation from near the river.- Mexican Hat Rock
  • Mini Mexican Hat.- Mexican Hat Rock
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easy roadside stop.
Cons: 
Hot in summer. No shade. No amenities.
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Region:
Colorado Plateau, UT
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

This geologic oddity gets it name because it looks just like a man wearing a sombrero. It is a giant hoodoo rising next to the San Juan River near the small town of Mexican Hat, named after the rock. You can see it well while driving by on Highway 163, but it's worth a stop for better views of the formation and the river below.

Exit the highway at the signed turnoff just north of town and park along any branch of the dirt roads that encircle the Mexican Hat. You won't see the river until you venture around behind the rock and find a vantage point. Views are pretty spectacular as you gaze north over a bend in the San Juan toward the towers in Valley of the Gods and the impressive cliffs of Cedar Mesa beyond. To the southwest is Monument Valley, and just to the east are the wavy, tri-colored rock layers of Raplee Anticline.

The geology of this entire region is fascinating and beautiful. All the sandstone towers are eroded remnants of seaside deposits from the age of dinosaurs and before. When driving across this stretch of Southern Utah, take time to stop the car, breath the desert air, and admire the ongoing eons traced in the landscape.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(10 within a 30 mile radius)

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