Bluff, Utah is an unassuming, sparsely populated little town in the southeastern corner of Utah. Although seemingly in the middle of nowhere, it’s surrounded by opportunities for adventure. Along with John and Pam, and Dave and Sue, we totally agree this is a place worthy of repeat visits. Not that we wouldn’t happily meet up with these fine folks anywhere in the U.S., or beyond!
San Juan Hill
When we arrived in Bluff, our friends were waiting and ready to take us, the “jeepless travelers” for a ride along a narrow, sandy and rocky road to the San Juan Hills. They had been on this trip before, but because they are such thoughtful and nice friends they offered to share this fun trek with us – or perhaps it was another not-so-subtle hint that we simply must get ourselves a Jeep?
Upon our arrival we were reminded how incredibly tough and determined the Mormon pioneers who passed through this area were. Hole in the Rock tells the story of their crossing of the Colorado River, and this, the last obstacle as they climbed over what they called San Juan Hill. It’s a tale of faith and tenacity, all in answer to God’s calling.
Remains of the Barton Trading Post
River House Ruins
Just half a mile or so further down the “road” we stopped to check out a stabilized ruin by the San Juan River, appropriately called River House Ruins. It was occupied by Ancestral Puebloans between AD900 and the late 1200’s.
We love Bluff, too, and even after two visits will return! There’s so much to discover there. And even better to share the adventure with good friends.
The road to the River House Ruins was impassable when we were there, so it’s wonderful to see it through your beautiful photos. Is that a Canada Goose in the rocks??
Canada Goose? For real? Wonderful multi-hued scenes! and wonderful friends with a shared joy of play too 🙂
Its great to revisit places, you find things you missed the first (or second) time around! We, too, enjoyed the rough ride to San Juan Hill and the River House ruins with our friends. Things look different through new eyes. We’ll miss you’re smiling faces but always look forward to meeting you “down the road”.
Cool rocks, ruins and pottery. Fun times in the Jeep!
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a Jeep and get to do what these guys do all the time?!?!?!
That looks like fun, Mona Liza! It’s amazing how those wagons wore down the rock in those areas.
Nice adventures…we sometimes stop in Bluff on our way to Moab. We need to stop & stay for a visit! Love the River House pictures!
I can’t believe you can still see the tracks. That is crazy! What an interesting place to visit. We’re heading that way soon, though, we too are Jeep-less. ☹️ Maybe we’ll see what our mighty Xterra can do…. (and yes, I’ll have AAA’s number handy. 😂)
I’m so glad you were in Bluff at the same time we were so we could share this great site with you and Steve. Seeing San Juan Hill after hearing the story makes it even harder to believe the Mormans made it over. I love your header photo of the Comb Ridge! Beautiful!
I’m reading this in Titusville, FL as I pack up for a summer exploring Utah. Many friends have told us “Spend time in Utah.” So summer 2018 is it. Your post has added a location to my itinerary. Thanks.
My grandmothers grandfather was a Mormon pioneer in southern Utah. They came over from Ireland. They founded the town Springdale next to Zion National Park. His name was Joseph Smith Black. I have a book about him. I’m not a Mormon. I want to go to Bluff. I love your photos and story.
We’ve discussed getting a jeep so we could visit some of these amazing places. Hard to believe the wagon trains 140 years ago would leave ruts that are still visible to this day.
OMG, this is such beautiful country. You are fortunate to have such great friends to travel with, as I’m sure you well know. You have captured the beauty of the area wonderfully MonaLiza.
Nice to have friends with the right kind of modern machines to get you up there.
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