Goosenecks State Park
May 26, 2006
By Samuel E Burns
After leaving Hovenweep National Monument, our next destination on our travel list was Gooseneck State Park. Pulling into this park, there did not appear to be much in the way of scenery. As you look around all you saw was the parking lot, picnic tables and a low stonewall. With just just two other cars in the parking lot, we began to wonder if we were in the right place. The further we ventured into the park, the more it becomes apparent that there was indeed more to see.
Having parked our vehicle we walked over to this low stonewall. This wall was there to prevent you from walking over the edge and into the San Juan River Gorge. The river has carved out a deep canyon that drops some 1,000 feet below where we were now standing. Over a distance of one and a half miles, the San Juan River flows for more than six miles.
There was a mild breeze that day but if you listened real hard you could hear the river flowing below us.
Gazing out over this spectacular view of the Goosenecks, we could not help but wonder why there were so few people taking advantage of this vista. We did not complain. It would appear that most people just drive in, step out, take some photos, & are on their way in less than 15 minutes. I would recommend that you spend at least hour to really soak up such unique geology.
Please note that there is no drinking water available. The park does have picnic areas, primitive camping, vault toilets, and an observation shelter. There are no developed hiking trails in the park but the Honaker Trail, a few miles to the northwest, provides access to the San Juan River.
All photography by Samuel E Burns