Bears Ears National Monument
Utah's youngest national monument
Nestled between dramatic sandstone bluffs and the San Juan River on the Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway is the oasis of Bluff, Utah. People have been drawn to this area along the river for thousands of years. Today, Bluff is an artist’s community featuring quality lodging, shopping, and dining. Unpack in Bluff and enjoy Utah’s Four Corners country. Start with a visit to the Bluff Fort and the Bluff Historic District to learn about early pioneer life. Then plan your visit to the numerous national, state and tribal parks within one hour of Bluff: Monument Valley, Bears Ears National Monument, Goosenecks State Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, and Hovenweep National Monument. Read more...
We are a proud gateway to the new Bears Ears National Monument where you can discover another world—of Indians and Ancient Ones, magnificent vistas, grand gulches and valleys of the gods. Float the San Juan River and marvel at stunning scenery, archeology that comes alive, and geology millions of years old.
A Beautiful Town with Quite a Past
Ancestral Puebloans established the area’s first settlements around 650 A.D. Some of the Southwest’s most impressive prehistoric rock art and ruins lie in or near Bluff. Ancestral Puebloans may have been drawn here because of the river and twin formations, such as the Twin Rocks and the twin alcoves visible in the bluffs across the river. Twins have a prominent place in native legends.
In 1880, Bluff was settled by Latter-day Saint pioneers seeking to establish a mission in the Four Corners area. Seventy families spent six months traveling to Bluff over the arduous Hole in the Rock trail. Soon after their arrival, they built one room cabins and established the Bluff Fort. In later, more prosperous years, the pioneers built fine Victorian homes, many of which have been carefully restored in the Bluff Historic District.
The culture and spirit of the Navajo people are woven throughout Bluff’s eclectic style of today. The Utah Navajo Fair and Rodeo is a fun weekend in September with a traditional pow wow and rodeo. Bluff’s trading posts showcase unique, museum-quality Native American art and can often provide you with information on the artist.
The Navajo word, “hozho”, is loosely translated as peace, balance, and beauty. To be in hozho is to be at one with and a part of the world around you. Visit, experience and enjoy the beautiful, natural world of Bluff, Utah.