America’s National Park system is awesome! Those iconic images of our national parks draw many of us to make the pilgrimage – myself included! Yet, many state parks are just as spectacular as our national treasures but might not quite get that same amount of attention.
As you’re planning your next outdoor adventure, be sure to check out the state parks in the area that you’ll be visiting. You may find some surprisingly awesome places to visit which often aren’t as crowded as those big name national parks.
One off-the-beaten-path surprise can be found in Southern Utah: Gooseneck State Park. Gooseneck is a great add to a Grand Circle itinerary or a 4 Corners trip. It is a little less than 2 hours from Cortez, Colorado, so we included a stop at this park on the way to Monument Valley from Cortez during a 4 Corners vacation.
Gooseneck State Park offers a striking view of a San Juan River meander. This part of the river flows 6 miles while covering only 1.5 miles westward in its journey to Lake Powell. That means it is one twisty stretch of river! What makes this spot extra special? The San Juan River has carved its way down about 1000 feet which makes for a breathtaking and unobstructed view!
While Gooseneck State Park is a bit out of the way, once you are there, accessing it is easy! There is no hiking involved. The parking lot (with vault toilets) is located right by the overlook!
If you can at all fit this State Park into your trip, I recommend that you do so. You won’t be disappointed!