Places to See in Southeast Utah - Travel and Leisure world

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Places to See in Southeast Utah

Places to See in Southeast Utah
Places to See in Southeast Utah

Located in the Navajo Indian Nation in the middle of nowhere just off of highway 160 is the Four Corners Monument. The really cool thing about this place is standing on the X and knowing you are in four different states at one time. The monument has booths located on all four sides where the Navajo's sell souvenirs. Located North of the monument is a half mile hiking trail which leads down and around a bluff where the views of colorful sandstones can be seen.

With highway 163 from Bluff to Monument Valley being part of the Ancient Trails makes the highway a very scenic drive, where around each curve and over every hill is eye-catching scenery, from flat arid land to bluffs and monoliths that change their appearance as one drives by. Just West of Mexican Hat is the location where Tom Hanks ended his cross-country run in the movie Forest Gump.

Monument Valley just across the state line in Arizona has a seventeen-mile unpaved road which leads one through the valley where mesa's, butter, and tall spires can be seen. The road is over gravel and clay and in some places over the slick rock with the going very rough, but passable in all types of vehicles. Although many of the views are of the same formations, the narrower buttes and spires appearance changes with different angles. Although one's imagination may see one thing, many of the spires and butts were given names by early settlers of the canyon. With most of the canyon being an empty desert, orange looking sand surrounds the rock structures with a limited amount of vegetation.

Gooseneck State Park may be a small park, but it allows one to look down 1,000 feet into the earth's skeleton for an excellent view of the San Juan River carving its way through the desert floor. The river twists and turns for over 6 miles while only advancing 1.5 miles West towards Lake Powell.

Unlike Monument Valleys loop drive, Valley of The Gods is a 16-mile unpaved road through a sandstone valley that features stunning geological formations. For the most part, the road which leads one through the valley is smooth with a few dry washes. The scenic drive has two entrances, with the East entrance just West of Bluff on highway 163 and the West entrance just North of Mexican Hat on highway 261. As one travels the meandering road around sharp turns and steep inclines, the views of the sandstone monoliths and mesas are spectacular.

Traveling highway 261 to highway 95 can be a real treat. Six miles in is the Moki Dugway, an unpaved, but well graded three-mile stretch of highway with switchbacks and hairpin curves which takes one up 1,200 feet to the crest of Cedar Mesa. Near the top is a scenic pullover which allows for the spectacular views of the San Juan River Gorge and Valley of the Gods scenic drive. The drive across the mesa, which covers 400 square miles takes one through a forest of Junipers, Pinyon, and other native plants, where cattle and other wildlife have an open range to roam freely.

About 40-miles West of the Natural Bridges Monument on Utah 95 is Glen Canyon Recreation Area. As the highway winds its way through the canyon the amazing views of rock structures as well as sandstone structures line the canyon walls as well as all along the canyon floor. Dipping through the canyon floor the highway passes over an arch bridge where the mighty Colorado Rivers flows through the gorge beneath it and just around the next bend the highway passes over the gorge of the Dirty Devil River just before its merger into the Colorado River. Reaching the top of the mesa on the Westside is Hite Overlook, which offers visitors a spectacular view of the Glen Canyon recreation area and the Colorado Rivers pursuit to reach the Northern section of Lake Powell.

Natural Bridges National Monument which sits on top of the Northern tip of Cedar Mesa at an elevation of 6,505 feet offers visitors a nine-mile loop road across the crest of the mesa, where parking areas are provided for ones, who wish to hike down to the bridges. To reach the Sipapu Bridge, one must hike down 6 tenths of a mile with an elevation change of 500 feet. The Kachina Bridge has a 600-foot paved walkway with an elevation change of 60 feet to an overlook for a view of the bridge or one can do the the.75-mile hike to the bottom with an elevation change of 400 feet. Halfway down take the side trip to get a closer view of the waterfall emerging from the cliff walls. The Owachomo Bridge is by far the easiest to get to with a.2-mile hike and only 180 feet of elevation change.

Hovenweep National Monument pretty much sits 45 miles out in the middle of nowhere just inside of the Utah state line, but well worth the drive. Just behind the visitor center is a paved walkway which leads to the mesa. The two-mile trail around the crest of the mesa displays many types of pueblo ruins along the rim and along the mesh floor. Midway is an additional.3-mile loop trail which takes one up close to tower point. To complete the loop, one must hike through the mesa floor down a steep winding trail and the climb up the other side is over and around large boulders with an elevation change of 80-feet.

Sand Island just a few miles West of Bluff has sites for boondocking, as well as a boat ramp for permitted boat rides down the San Juan River. The two-mile round-trip forested hiking trail takes one along the cliff wall where 100's of 
.petroglyphs can be seen