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Beyond Monticello: Road Trips and Hidden Gems in the Surrounding Area

Posted on 15 Oct, 2021 at 12:00 am - by Sarah Johnson

Monticello, Utah, serves as an excellent base for exploring the wonders of the surrounding area. With its strategic location, you can embark on exciting road trips that take you to hidden gems, picturesque landscapes, and charming towns. In this blog post, we'll guide you through some memorable road trips that will enhance your Monticello experience and leave you with lasting memories.

Scenic Drive: The Trail of the Ancients

Embark on a journey through time and culture with the Trail of the Ancients scenic drive. This 480-mile loop takes you through some of the most significant archaeological and cultural sites in the region. Starting from Monticello, the route winds through magnificent landscapes and showcases the remnants of ancient civilizations.

As you follow the trail, you'll encounter highlights such as the iconic Monument Valley, with its towering sandstone buttes and mesmerizing vistas. Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is another must-visit stop along the way. Explore the remarkably preserved cliff dwellings and gain insights into the lives of the ancestral Pueblo people.

Other notable stops on the Trail of the Ancients include Natural Bridges National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument, and Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum. Each destination reveals a fascinating chapter of human history and showcases the cultural heritage of the region.

Remote Adventure: Bears Ears National Monument

A road trip from Monticello to Bears Ears National Monument offers an extraordinary adventure through rugged landscapes and sacred Native American sites. Bears Ears, named after twin buttes that resemble the ears of a bear, encompasses over 1.3 million acres of stunning red rock scenery.

While exploring Bears Ears, be sure to visit the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition Visitor Center. This center provides valuable insights into the significance of the monument to Native American tribes and offers guidance on exploring the area responsibly and respectfully.

As you venture into Bears Ears, you'll discover hidden canyons, ancient rock art, and pristine wilderness. Hiking opportunities abound, with trails like the Grand Gulch Primitive Area providing a chance to immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of the backcountry. Marvel at ancient ruins, soak in breathtaking views, and connect with the natural and cultural heritage of this sacred land.

Charming Town: Bluff, Utah

Just a short drive from Monticello lies the charming town of Bluff, Utah. This quaint community is nestled along the San Juan River and exudes a rich history and captivating beauty.

Explore the Bluff Fort Historic Site, where you can immerse yourself in the pioneer era and learn about the challenges and triumphs of the early settlers. Take a stroll along the riverwalk, visit local art galleries, and experience the warm hospitality of the town's residents.

Bluff also serves as an excellent base for outdoor adventures in the area. Embark on a river rafting excursion on the San Juan River, go hiking in nearby canyons, or simply soak in the serene ambiance of this hidden gem.

Remote Beauty: Lake Powell

A road trip to Lake Powell is a journey to a breathtaking oasis in the desert. Located just a few hours' drive from Monticello, this vast reservoir straddles the border of Utah and Arizona and offers endless opportunities for water-based activities and exploration.

Rent a houseboat or kayak and navigate the crystal-clear waters, marveling at the towering sandstone cliffs that rise from the depths. Discover hidden coves, swim in secluded beaches, and witness the stunning interplay of light and color as the sun dances on the water's surface.

For a unique experience, consider taking a boat tour to Rainbow Bridge National Monument, one of the largest natural bridges in the world. This majestic sandstone arch is a sacred site to Native American tribes and a testament to the geological wonders of the region.

Discover the Surrounding Gems

Monticello, Utah, serves as a gateway to a world of hidden gems and remarkable destinations. From the Trail of the Ancients to Bears Ears National Monument, from charming towns like Bluff to the awe-inspiring beauty of Lake Powell, the surrounding area is ripe for exploration.

So fuel up your car, pack your sense of adventure, and hit the road from Monticello. Uncover the secrets of the land, immerse yourself in nature's wonders, and create unforgettable memories as you discover the hidden gems that await you beyond the city limits.

About Author
  • Sarah Johnson

    Sarah produces creative and informative content based on her travel experience. She keeps her blogs up-to-date with the latest information. 

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