BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT
This monument may be young, but she has a very old soul. Evidence of ancient civilizations is scattered throughout Bears Ears National Monument, and with little effort visitors can appreciate these sites. When we walked toward House on Fire, the rock above the structure literally seemed to mushroom out in a ball of fire over the stone structure below. The early morning light ignited the opposing canyon wall, making the house appear to be on fire.
Down the road, we wandered amongst structures built in rock alcoves and towers that remain peering down over Mule Canyon. The structures at Cave Towers felt immaculately preserved given their age (dated to the 13th century!). Near and far we looked upon different structures, even some that seemed impossibly placed in the canyon below. We only saw a couple of other people at these sites, making us feel like early explorers.
NATURAL BRIDGES NATIONAL MONUMENT
GLEN CANYON RECREATION AREA
BACK IN BLANDING
Hunkering down at night in the Stone Lizard Lodge was the best rest after a day adventuring. Not to mention, they had one of the best breakfast spreads I’ve seen at a hotel! One of the guests remarked, “it’s an expensive breakfast, but it comes with a free room.” Green chili pastries, homemade cinnamon rolls, and fresh local coffee made me happy beyond belief. This hotel is a prime example of locally-owned, quality hospitality that you can find traveling in this region of Utah.
My introduction to the area started at Edge of Cedars State Park, and it is still sticking with me. There is a great amount of helpful information, and the pottery exhibit is unreal! I have never seen such a large or more impressive collection of Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) pottery. Historic ruins are just out the back door, and visitors have the chance to descend into a traditional kiva. This is a fascinating and informative place to start your discovery of Blanding and Southeast Utah.