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Goosenecks State Park – Utah example of Entrenched Meandering Geology

Goosenecks State Park is an interesting park in southeastern Utah. It is one of the world’s greatest examples of entrenched meandering. The San Juan river, on its way to Lake Powell to the south, has carved impressive sequential ‘goosenecks’ in the rock. A gooseneck is a cliff that has a narrow neck and larger head as carved by the river. Standing at 1000 feet above the river, you have a nice view of several goosenecks.

Goosenecks State Park, Utah; entrenched Meandering

There is not a lot to do at this park besides look at the view for a few minutes. There is some primitive camping on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no services save waterless toilets. At a cost of $5 per carload, it is worth the stop over for the look and picture.

If you would like to see another example of this kind of geology, make sure to see Horseshoe Bend. It is a similar kind of gooseneck, but is far more scenic and picturesque. Located to the south near Page, Arizona, it is 153 miles to the southwest.

Goosenecks State Park, Utah; entrenched Meandering
Fisheye lens picture

Goosenecks State Park is a bit in the middle of nowhere, but it is a pretty nowhere. You’ll most likely go there en route between two more significant destinations. It is 29 miles northeast of Monument Valley. I would recommend stopping by on a route through Arizona and Utah between Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon to the west and Arches and Canyonlands National Parks to the north. Also nearby is Natural Bridges National Monument 41 miles to the north. Driving between Goosenecks and Natural Bridges, you’ll drive the infamous Moki Dugway.

Map Goosenecks State Park, Utah
google maps 2017