Millions of years ago, the land here was relatively flat, and the river meandered on its course. Then a period of uplift occurred on the Colorado Plateau. As the land rose, the river flowed faster while still following its meandering course. The river cut into the land, eventually creating the impressive entrenched meanders seen at Goosenecks State Park today. Eroded by water, wind, frost, and gravity, this is truly a magnificent viewpoint.
The San Juan River
The headwaters of the San Juan River are in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, which is the origin of 90 percent of the river’s flow. The San Juan flows 360 miles from its source to the Colorado River, starting at an elevation of 14,000 feet and dropping to 3,600 feet at Lake Powell. The river is named for San Juan Bautista, Spanish for St. John the Baptist. Ancestors of today’s Pueblo people lived in the canyon tributaries of the San Juan, leaving behind images on stone, storage structures, and remnants of small masonry communities.
At Goosenecks, the views extend for miles. Alhambra Rock is the dark volcanic intrusion that looms on the horizon, beyond Mexican Hat. The buttes and spires of Monument Valley lie to the southwest.
Sightseeing, photography, star gazing, hiking at nearby Honaker Trail, pet-friendly, picnicking, and camping. Please note: There are no hiking or bike trails within the Park. Bikes are permitted on public roads only. Goosenecks State Park can be intensely hot during the summer months, and there is no shade.
Opened to the public as a state park in 1962.
Park Elevation: 4,500 feet