Sunday, August 25, 2019
• Location is within the town of Blanding; 21.1 miles south of Monticello along Hwy 191 right onto West 500 South, go 6/10ths of a mile to access parking area.
• Five (5) mile loop hiking trail (maintained gravel/dirt) featuring replicas of Pioneer, Hispanic & Native American home life; an observation tower and Prayer Arch.
• There is also a five (5) mile loop trail (dirt/rock) to the overlook of Westwater Ruins aka Five (5) Kiva Pueblo & to the one (1) Natural Bridge.
• Open year round; open to school field trips, general public & tourists.
• Admission: Free.
• An across the canyon view of the Natural Bridge & Westwater Ruins is located on West 1600 South.
• Website: https://www.sanjuanfoundationutah.org/
• Address: 580 South 650 West, Blanding, UT, 84511
• Phone: (435) 678-4000
Nations of the Four Corners/Nations Natural Bridge/Westwater Ruins
• Location: From Nations of the Four Corners, go east on 500 South to return to Hwy. 191 (6/10ths of a mile), make right onto Hwy.191 to go south to 1600 South (USU Trucking School on corner) (1.1 mile). Make right onto 1600 South. The paved road dead ends at Utah Department building; continue onto dirt/gravel road to the left (CR 232 aka Ruins Rd.).
Nations Natural Bridge
• Travel 1.2 miles to a pull-in for Nations Natural Bridge; there will be a sign indicating the Natural Bridge.
Westwater Ruins aka Five Kiva Ruins
Westwater Ruins aka Five Kiva Pueblo is an outstanding example of ancestral architecture of a cliff dwelling that was occupied about 750 BC to 1275 AD. Although inhabited from Basketmaker to Pueblo III, the current set of ruins is primarily Pueblo III. The broad flat plaza of the main central area is the location of the kivas; storage and housing rooms are the room blocks seen behind. A natural spring in the canyon would account for why the ancestral Puebloans chose this area to reside in.
• Continue along road to Westwater Ruins aka Five (5) Kiva Ruins; keep an eye on the canyon walls to the right of the road as there are granaries tucked into it. The road dead ends at an unpaved parking lot (5/10ths of a mile from the natural bridge), Westwater Ruins can be seen across the canyon, facing northward. There is a steep, yet easy to hike, trail (dirt & rock), downward to the edge of the canyon face where an unobstructed view of the ruins can be seen.
• Total mileage from Nations of the Four Corners to Westwater Ruins is 3.4 miles.
Nations of the Four Corners also has picnic areas, so pick up a meal and enjoy the scenery.
Friday, August 16, 2019
Good! These representatives, depending on which center you visit, can be highly trained in information about places to see, things to do, where to stay and have a meal. They are not there to be made fools of due to someone being bored. They are not walking computers, and certainly not there to be insulted. They are there to help, and visitors need to learn two special words, "Thank you".
Now there is a center or two where the representatives are there for a paycheck and nothing more. They don't care about learning the information, being able to read maps, and give out the proper ones. They don't care if you stay in the area or are just passing through. These types are a blot upon those who do have a passion for being a tourist guide, and for sharing the love of what they do with others.
Anyway, I put together a little San Juan County Basic Information so the need to "test" can be avoided somewhat. Hint, if you truly need to "test", be ready to leave one hell of a huge donation or tip. It's the polite thing to do you know.
|The Bluffs of Bluff|
Does San Juan County have four seasons?
Yes - spring, summer, fall and winter.
Does San Juan County have weather and what is it like year round?
Yes, it has heat, rain, snow, hail, wind, thunderstorms, sun, clouds. You know, like the rest of planet Earth.
We're going to Monument Valley, can we go inside the Indians' homes to see how they live?
Umm, first off, they are Native Americans. Second, please give me your names and addresses. Why? So I can give it out freely and tell everyone that your home is open to any and every one to visit at anytime.
Why are there no straight roads, why are they so curvy?
The roadways were created to go around the natural landscape of the area, to avoid destroying its beauty.
....and here is a favorite story that my friends still get a laugh fest out of. One day a woman came into a center I was working at and said, "I just drove up from Blanding and where are these mountains I was told I would see?" (only one highway travels north from Blanding, Highway 191)
I walked her to the windows and asked, "You mean those mountains over there?" (pointing at the Abajo Mountains).
She responded with an incredulous tone of voice, "Hey, they weren't there before!"
...and my response? "Oh, it's Wednesday. They were sent out for cleaning, and were just put back." (mind you, there had not been any cloud cover to obscure the mountain range, it was a beautiful sunny day)
|Abajo Mountains - Sunny Day|
|Abajo Mountains - Cloudy Day|
Please take the time to engage the brain first, before opening the mouth. Customer service people are not there to be your personal entertainment, and deserve the same respect that you expect for yourselves. Give as good as you want to get.
Enjoy the journey!
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Sunday, August 11, 2019
Friday, August 9, 2019
- Distance: 3.2 miles (round trip) to see three (3) Ruins along West Fork of Upper Butler Wash.
- Elevation: 5,215-ft. at Trailhead, 5,315-ft. at West Fork of Upper Butler Wash
- Elevation Gain: 100-ft.
- Difficulty: easy-moderate on well worn, dirt trail; steep climbing near ruin sites.
- Admission: Free
- Camping: Dispersed, no water or vault toilets.
- Pets: Allowed, must be leashed, owners expected to clean up after pet (s).
Bring lots of drinking water for this hike, and don't forget the picnic!
Tuesday, August 6, 2019
If you have not tried Navajo Fry Bread yet, this would be a great chance to do it now. You simply cannot go home without experiencing this culinary treat of the Southwest.
Monday, August 5, 2019
Now it's Siri or Alexa...which is discrimination against the male sex...whatever happened to Tom-Tom!?! Anyway, the majority are so busy asking their cellphones, tablets, IPads to plan out their lives for them; well people have stagnant water for brains now.
One question that always annoys me about visitors is, "Is it worth it to me to go (insert destination)?"
Umm, do I know you? Do I know your likes, dislikes, passions, bucket list, fears, must-dos?" No, no I do not. While I can tell you how much it is worth to me, we are NOT the same person, so stop asking this rather ridiculous question. Oh, did I offend you? Good! Put the cellphone down, stop asking it what to do, open your eyes and start enjoying the vacation!!! Go everywhere you can, see all you can see, experience wherever you go as if you're a resident. On old phrase that used to carry a lot of weight with travelers was, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." In other words, live like you live there.
So, most folks I have met are dead set on going to National Parks and Monuments only; it's all they have heard about, only thing of importance within any state they visit. Wow, why in the world do these people limit themselves so much? Canyonlands National Park is located in San Juan County, the entrance to the southern end, Needles, is just north of Monticello on State Highway 211. Many people go the quickest route, State Highway 191, but forego the one paved mountain road through the Abajos. Many are thankful when told about this alternate, quite scenic route; while others are, "Why would I want to go that way, it's just mountains and a forest?" This is another example of limiting one's self; there is so much to see along the way, but you won't know till you go.
I'm going to show you, via photographs, why it's worth it to me. You will have to be brave, take the journey yourself, and then decide how much worth for yourself.
|7 miles up the mountain road is Monticello Lake.|
North Creek's rushing waters due to the spring thaw.
|9 miles up, Panorama taken at an informational rest area.|
Indian Creek Valley; SH 211 will take you through this area.
|Abajo Mountains seen from Spring Creek Road|
|Spring Creek is full during spring thaw.|
|Abajo Mountains and Latigo Wind Farm|
|Photoshopped to look like a walking billboard; No cattle were shaved.|
|Roosters are not allowed in Monticello City limits. Someone dumped this little guy. We|
couldn't catch him and chances are he ended up a coyote's dinner.
Due to the drought the past two years, this plant remained in hibernation. Winter 2018 - Spring 2019 were very wet seasons, so Milk Vetch could be found in abundance.
|Stinking Milk Vetch|
|Utah State Flower - Sego Lily|