Bluff Utah is a very special place. It has a rich history going back 1000's of years. The Anasazi called this little valley home, then the Navajo, then in 1880, the Mormons settled in. All of the Cultures have left their mark. There are ruins and petroglyphs left by the Anasazi. The Navajo still call this place home, and you can feel their influance in every shop and home. The first white settlers have left incredibly ornate stone houses, built in the Victorian Style. Many of these homes are still standing, but some have beendestroyed by fires like the Jones home. (click to view)
Bluff has a population of about 300 people. There are Entrapenuers, Archeologisits, Geologists, Lawyers, Naturalists, Teachers, and many other highly skilled, professional people. People who choose to live away from the hassles of City life.
I lived in Bluff for 12 years. It is a great place to live. The people there are special. It takes a different breed of people to live in a small town, away from the modern convienances. No movie theater, no chinese take out. No grocery store, no clothing shops, no Doctors or Dentists offices. Here you must learn to be more self reliant. I learned many things about myself while I lived here. I believe that I would have never discovered that I am great at crocheting, or that I am really good at making beaded earrings. I am a good cook, and I enjoy canning fresh vegies from my garden. I can even diagnose my own car problems, (and usually be right). Living in a place that does not have lots of superficial amusements, makes you look at yourself.
This photo is of the Navajo Twins rock formation. The Navajo Twins Trading Post is located beneath the Twin Rocks, and has some of the mostBeautiful Rugs! and jewlery I have ever seen. Stop in and take a look. If you find something you want, dicker about the price, it may not help, but it doesn't hurt either. *smile* There are many such interesting formations in the 4 corners region. It is incredible the way the wind and the rain have carved out these beautiful sculptures. When you are in Bluff, stop at the Recapture Lodge (435-672-2281 or E-Mail the Recapture Lodge.) and ask for directions to see the Navajo Twins, the Sunbonnet Rock,The Locomotive, Calfcanyon, and Cowcanyon.
While here, also ask for directions on going to visit the 14 Window Ruins. To get there you cross a swinging footbridge, and walk about a 1/2 mile. The ruins are beautiful, and they are decorated with handprints from an ancient civilization. This footbridge was, in the not too distant past, the only way across the river for the people living there. The Children used to walk across to go to school at St. Christopher's Mission. This is another place that you should visit while you are here.
The Sand Island Recreation Area is 4 miles south of Bluff, just off of Hiway 163. There is a wonderful petroglyh panel here. Let your imagination go as to what the people meant when they carved these in stone. Sand Island is also the put-in for most of the San Juan River trips. ContactWild Rivers in Bluff for an escorted trip, or contact the B.L.M. in Monticello, Utah for permits to do a do it yourself trip. The San Juan is not a wild and wooley river trip, though it does have a few rapids, it is more a scenic trip. You visit Anasazi ruins such as River House, see Petroglyph panels, and perhaps see the Big Horn Sheep native to the area coming to the river to drink. The Geology of the river is fascinating, as the water has cut through millions of years of sediment and left them exposed to view. This creates the variety of colors, and if you know how to read the stone, weaves a fascinating tale. I do recommend buying yourself a river guide if you plan to run the San Juan. Don't miss out on the story.