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Things to Do Around Blanding, Utah

When you stay at Blue Mountain RV and Trading, you have easy access to many of Southern Utah's most iconic attractions. We listed some of our favorites below. For more information, feel free to give us a call at your convenience.

Comb Ridge and Butler Wash

Tilted at an angle of almost 20 degrees, Comb Ridge is an ancient rock formation tapered along the desert landscape of southeastern Utah. A linear north to south-trending monocline, this immense sandstone formation is nearly one hundred and twenty miles long and one mile wide. This blunt rock extension occurred nearly 65 million years ago, when tectonic plates buried deep under the earth’s surface slipped, leaving a rugged scar across the face of the once smooth stone. These jagged and weathered crags sharply ascend up steep summits then drop into unexpected depths with staggering and sudden recurrence. They loom from 300 to 900 feet above the empty plains, before disappearing into the surrounding washes.

Valley of the Gods

A number of tall, red, isolated mesas, buttes, and cliffs tower above the valley floor and can be seen while driving along the 17-mile gravel road on which it sits. Carved over the course of 250 million years from the Cedar Mesa sandstone, the variety of formations shows the power of time, water, wind, and ice at play in this desert landscape. There is hiking throughout the Valley of the Gods, but it’s more of an exploration in cross-country meandering, as there are no established trails. Valley of the Gods is perfect for auto tourists looking for a quiet backway and more adventurous travelers looking to explore grand open landscapes — just come prepared with plenty of water, sun protection and a good plan.

Arch Canyon Trail

South of the Abajo Mountains and west of Comb Ridge in San Juan County lies Arch Canyon, famous for it’s three arches, Cathedral, Angel, and Keystone. Along the way, look for the Arch Canyon and Jailhouse ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) ruins along the cliffs left behind by the Ancestral Puebloans who once inhabited the area. From Comb Wash, a trail leading 7 miles up the canyon, can be hiked or driven on ATVs or other high clearance vehicles. From the end of the trail, visitors can see Cathedral Arch. Leaving your vehicles and continuing on foot, Angel Arch lays a half a mile further up the canyon, while Keystone Arch is found another 2.5 miles farther. Visitors can also get an astonishing view of the canyon from the overlook at the edge of Texas Flat. A more distant view can be seen along South Elk Road in the Manti-Lasal Wilderness at the Arch Canyon Overlook.

Bears Ears National Monument

A pair of towering buttes stand against beautiful scenery. Shash Jaa, a unit of Bears Ears National Monument, covers 129,980 acres of red rock that encompasses fascinating geologic features, juniper forests, cultural, historic and prehistoric legacy that includes an abundance of early human and Native American historical artifacts left behind by early Clovis people, then later Ancestral Puebloans, Fremont culture and others. Perhaps of greatest modern interest are the remnants of incredible cliff dwellings, some in remarkably good condition even after hundreds of years of vacancy.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park preserves 337,598 acres of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires in the heart of southeast Utah's high desert. Water and gravity have been the prime architects of this land, sculpting layers of rock into the rugged landscape you see today. The natural beauty and human history throughout its four districts, are divided by the Green and Colorado rivers. While the districts share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character and offers different opportunities for exploration and adventure. The Needles Districs forms the southeast corner of Canyonlands and was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate the area. Hiking trails offer many opportunities for long day hikes and overnight trips. Foot trails and four-wheel-drive roads lead to such features as Tower Ruin, Confluence Overlook, Elephant Hill, the Joint Trail, and Chesler Park.

Cedar Mesa/Grand Gulch

The Cedar Mesa area encompasses up to 1.9 million acres and is home to more than 100,000 archaeological sites. It is considered among the country’s most important indigenous cultural areas. The area's remote, rugged backcountry trails are not for everyone. But for adventurers with a love of solitude, archaeology and geographic beauty, this area has it all. A great place to start your adventure is the serpentine Grand Gulch. Often called an “outdoor museum” because of its dense concentration of Ancestral Puebloans’ ruins and rock art, Cedar Mesa's Grand Gulch is a destination that offers many opportunities for recreation, exploration and discovery.

Dinosaur Museum

At The Dinosaur Museum, the complete history of the world of the dinosaurs is presented. Skeletons, fossilized skin, eggs, footprints, state-of-the-art graphics, and beautifully realistic sculptures present the dinosaurs from the Four Corners region and throughout the globe. In the museum you will see exhibits which show dinosaurs from the different countries and how they were distributed throughout the globe. You will also view the latest in dinosaur skin research, which shows startling new aspects to some familiar dinosaurs. Enjoy the displays of dinosaur eggs from around the world, and the baby Protoceratops and Maiasaura sculptures. Deinonychus raptors, Six life-size ten foot long and a giant feathered Therizinosaurus which stands 14 foot tall with a 20 foot wingspan. The exhibit shows the most current scientific discoveries regarding these fascinating animals. Herrerasaurus, from the Triassic of Argentina, was one of the earliest of the theropod dinosaurs. Recent discoveries by expeditions to Argentina led by Paleontologist Paul Sereno have uncovered the remains of several specimens which made this skeletal reconstruction possible. Plateosaurus was one of the earliest of dinosaurs to have had a worldwide distribution in the Triassic Period. It is ancestral to the long necked gigantic sauropods which dominated the world during the Jurassic. TARBOSAURUS FROM MONGOLIA Several skeletons of Tarbosaurus have been found in Mongolia. Tarbosaurus is closely related to the more familiar Tyrannosaurus rex of North America. MUMMIFIED EDMONTOSAURUS This rare duckbilled dinosaur mummy was discovered in 1910 in Wyoming. It is one of two collected by the famous Sternberg family.

Edge of the Cedars State Park

Visit Edge of the Cedars Pueblo, a village inhabited by the ancestors of contemporary Puebloan peoples from AD 825 to 1225, and climb down a ladder to enter the 1,000-year-old kiva. View the largest collection of Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) pottery on display in the Four Corners area. Enjoy programs for adults and children, including archaeology and art exhibitions. Our goal is to inspire and educate museum visitors about the prehistoric and contemporary American Indian cultures of the Four Corners region.

Elk Ridge Recreation Area

The Elk Ridge Recreation Area is located in San Juan County, Utah, west of Monticello and north of Blanding in southeastern Utah. It lies west of Cottonwood Road to Elk Ridge, west to the Dark Canyon Wilderness boundary, and from the north Forest boundary to the south Forest boundary. The closest access is from SR-95. It is in close proximity to Natural Bridges NM to the east, Canyonlands NP to the north and Blanding, Utah to the south; Elk Ridge Road runs the length of the areas from the north to the south

Goosenecks State Park

On the edge of a deep canyon above the sinuous river meander known as a gooseneck, gaze at the results of 300 million years of geological activity. This small park affords impressive views of where the San Juan River winds and carves its way through the desert 1,000 feet below. The River below twists and turns through the meander, flowing a distance of over six miles while advancing one and half miles west on its way to Lake Powell.

Hovenweep National Monument

Once home to over 2,500 people, Hovenweep includes six prehistoric villages built between A.D. 1200 and 1300. Explore a variety of structures, including multistory towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders. The construction and attention to detail will leave you marveling at the skill and motivation of the builders. While expansive views and epic desert sunsets are sure to impress!

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is located in northern Arizona and stretches up into southern Utah. At only 90 miles from Blanding, its perfectly reachable for a day of fun at the lake! Part of the Colorado River in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. With nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline, endless sunshine, warm water, perfect weather, and some of the most spectacular scenery in the west, Lake Powell is the ultimate playground.

Moki Dugway/Muley Point

The Moki Dugway is a staggering, graded dirt switchback road carved into the face of the cliff edge of Cedar Mesa. It consists of 3 miles of steep, unpaved, but well-graded switchbacks (11% grade), which crawls 1,200 feet from the valley floor near Valley of the Gods to the top of Cedar Mesa. This route provides breathtaking views of some of Utah’s most beautiful sites. Scenic views of Valley of the Gods and distant Monument valley open at every turn of the dugway. After climbing the Moki Dugway, you may wish to stop at the fantastic vista at Muley Point, the Overlook provides viewers with a panorama of the Goosenecks of the San Juan River, and the vast, sweeping valleys of the desert valley below. Mark this as a not to be missed attraction.

Montezuma Canyon

Three Kiva Ruin is only one of the many cultural sites peppered through this ancient settled canyon city. This stabilized pueblo was part of a large and thriving community that took advantage of the resources that the canyon had to offer. Easy to access and drive along its graveled roads, a wonderful resource only 15 miles west of Blanding.

Natural Bridges National Monument

Natural Bridges has made protecting its dark sky a priority so that people can enjoy the stunning river of light formed by the Milky Way rising over Owachomo Bridge. On March 6th, 2007, Natural Bridges National Monument became the first International Dark Sky Park certified by the International Dark-Sky Association. Three majestic natural bridges invite you to ponder the power of water in a landscape usually defined by its absence. View them from an overlook, or hit the trails and experience their grandeur from below. Declared a National Monument in 1908, the bridges are named "Kachina," "Owachomo" and "Sipapu" in honor of the Native Americans that once made this area their home.
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