Montezuma Canyon stretches from east of Monticello, Utah, nearly to the abandoned Hatch Trading Post (due west of Hovenweep National Monument). Starting from UT-191 a few miles south of Montezuma, County Road C-146 is a 34-mile long graded road and is initially flat, but quickly begins to steeply wind its way down to Montezuma Creek. Once on the canyon floor, the road follows the creek southward, crossing it in numerous places. While passable by any vehicle, it is highly recommended to take extreme care if heavy rain is predicted. Some folks may feel better to have 4x4 due to the grade and a couple of rutted offshoots leading to points of interest.
The terrain on the canyon floor is generally flat with areas of highly eroded walls of brown earth. On either side of the canyon are rocky walls and sandstone cliffs, interspersed with varying sizes of alcoves and juniper trees.
What’s in the alcoves is the highlight of the drive. Don'f forget to take your binos and camera. Both prehistoric and modern-day dwellings can be found, though nearly all are on private land, so viewing is primarily possible only from the road. And even if you aren’t into prehistoric dwellings, the modern ones and the scenery make the drive surprising and worthwhile. Who knows, you may see a “For Sale” sign and decide to liquidate your 401K!
This would likely be a particularly pleasant drive later in the spring or in the fall when the cottonwoods are leafed-out in green or turned to gold. Please respect the landowners and steer clear of the cows. Moooooo...
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.