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About U.S. Highway 491

U.S. Highway 491 runs 194 miles from Gallup, New Mexico to Monticello, Utah, passing through the southwest corner of Colorado and past the Four Corners region.

It has been nicknamed the Devil’s Highway. Prior to 2003, its number was 666. Supersition about this number arose from the passage in Revelation 13:18 which foretells a wicked ruler (a beast!) at the end of the world, and warns that his "number" will be 666. This, along with a high accident fatality rate and a persistent problem with sign theft, prompted officials to change the number to 491. The nickname has persisted however.

Between Cortez and Moab, U.S. Highway 491 follows the route of the Spanish Trail, which was the main route of travel used through this area in the days preceding the Mexican-American War. In 1926, when the U.S. Highway System was established, Highway 666 ran from Gallup to Crescent Junction, in Utah. Between 1942 and 1992, it was extended south from Gallup to Douglas, Arizona, passing over Coronado Mountain on what was known as the Coronado Trail. In 1992, U.S. Highway 191 was given its current route, taking over this portion of Highway 666, as well as the section from Monticello to Crescent Junction.

What to See along Highway 491

Highway 491 is available on UntraveledRoad from Monticello to the junction with U.S. Highway 160, near the New Mexico-Colorado border. Also the terminus at Gallup is included.

The Abajo Mountains

Also known as the Blue Mountains, the beautiful Abajo Mountains stand just west of Monticello and reach to 11,360 feet in elevation. They are traversed by numerous mountain roads and offer camping and hiking opportunities. Abajo Drive leads into them from Monticello, and Blue Mountain Road from Blanding.

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde overlooks Cortez and the Montezuma Valley and in ancient times was home to Indian Tribes who left many ruins of their dwellings including the fantastic Cliff Palace which was discovered in 1888.

For More information

See the Wikipedia article U.S. Highway 491.