This curiously-named town draws its moniker from a rock formation that, from some angles, resembles a sombrero, or a "Mexican Hat." The formation is about two and a half miles northeast of town. Mexican Hat is on Hwy 163, 20 miles southwest of Bluff where a bridge passes over the San Juan River.
The settlement was founded by E.L. Goodridge who established an unproductive oil claim there in 1908. These days what is on the surface is of more interest than what might lie below. Mexican Hat is the take-out point for daily San Juan River trips. Friday and Saturday evenings in the summer, musicians often play at the Mexican Hat Lodge.
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Mexican Hat sits along the San Juan River among impressive rock formations. In fact, the town gets its name from a rock formation that resembles an overturned sombrero.