1. Butler Wash Archeological Ruin(Winter or Summer)
Approximately 45 min from Monticello - Butler Wash Ruin is a cliff dwelling that was built and occupied by the Ancestral Puebloans, sometimes known as Anasazi, in about 1200 AD. Parts of the site has been stabilized and reconstructed, but most of it remains as it was found in the 1800s. There are habitation, storage and ceremonial structures, including four kivas. This ruin is located in a side canyon of Butler Wash, on the east side of Comb Ridge.
A BLM trail to the site winds its way across slickrock and washes to reach an overlook of the cliff dwelling. Round trip hiking distance is 1 mile and takes approximately a half hour. The difficulty is moderate. An interpretive sign is located at the overlook. Ample parking and a restroom is provided. There is no water at this site, and desert temperatures can be extremely hot and dry. Plan ahead and be prepared. Bring appropriate clothing and lots of water when visiting this site.
How To Get There:The Butler Wash Ruins are located about 14 miles south of Blanding, UT and is well signed on Hwy 95
2.Newspaper Rock (Winter or Summer) - is an impressive petroglyph site located along Indian Creek in Southeastern Utah. This panel displays multiple periods of rock art from cultures dating to 1500 years ago to this century. The older art is attributed to the ancient Puebloan people who inhabited this region for approximately two thousand years, from 100 B.C. to 1540 A.D.. The more recent art (lighter in color) is attributed to the Ute people who still live in the Four Corners area. This day-use site has toilet facilities and ample paved parking, including pull through sites for larger vehicles and RVs.
How to Get There: Newspaper Rock is located on Highway 211, which starts 15 miles north of Monticello, Utah. Drive 13 miles west on Highway 211. The site is well signed.
Other Information: A brochure on the site has been developed by San Juan County.
3. Abajo Loop Road and Mountain Trails - the loop road is approximately 15 min from Monticello - (summer only - closed for winter)Description: This drive ascends to the middle of the Abajo Range, at an elevation of 11,000 feet. This is a cool retreat from the desert heat in the summertime, and opportunities for hiking and climbing are numerous. One of the trailheads from the road is for the Abajo Peak trail, which leads to the summit of Abajo Peak, at 11,360 feet. There is no developed camping on the route, but there is a campground right past the end of the Backway, on FR 105. Views from the heights of these mountains include Canyonlands National Park and many distant mountain ranges. Fishing in Johnson Creek, on the south half of the drive.
Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado (summer only) located approximately 2 hours from Monticello - Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to 1300. Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.
2. Canyonlands National Park - The entrance to this National Park is only 15 minutes from Monticello - US HWY 191 north 14 miles to the turnoff.(winter or Summer)
Join rangers for in-depth programs on many aspects of the park, watch boaters confront the whitewater of Cataract Canyon, learn how to minimize your impact when you visit the park, and much more.
View pictures from the park's photo collection and download royalty-free, high-resolution images.
Wondering what it's like to stand on the cliff edge at Mesa Arch? Experience at least part of the thrill of that location and many others in our collection of 360-degree panoramas.