Centennial Jazz Band Sept. 19 at Bluff Fort

Come for the live jazz - and support the National Park Service!

September 19, 2016 at 6:30 PM - Bluff Fort Co-op Building

In celebration of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, the Bluff Fort is hosting a jazz performance by the National Park Centennial Jazz Band to benefit Hovenweep National Monument and Natural Bridges National Monument. The live performance will be two 45-minute sets featuring five different jazz musicians. For more information on the Bluff Fort, including directions, click here. National Park Jazz Band Bluff Fort 2016

Riding Like a Pro: 3 Safety Tips

Guest written by Utah Injury Lawyers at Christensen & Hymas BicycleSafetyInfographic As avid cyclists, Bluff is among our favorite areas. Its highways stretch on for miles across open desert, big skies, and red rock. The area offers great climbs and long rides to destinations like Monument Valley. As bicycle accident attorneys, we have seen tragic accidents that could have been avoided with proper bicycle safety habits. The following is a list of advice that has kept us, and others safe while riding in the Bluff area. (c) Race Across America                  

Safety First:

● Always Obey traffic laws, such as: ○ Stopping at intersections ○ Using proper hand signals when turning, stopping, etc. ○ Ride with the flow of traffic ● Use the shoulder of the road. Legally you are entitled to the whole lane, although it is recommended to ride on the side of the road. ● Wear a helmet. Although it is not illegal to not wear a helmet in Utah, we highly recommend it. Several serious injuries from bicycle accidents could have been avoided if the cyclist had been properly protected. You won’t be sorry.

Prepare Beforehand:

The area offers long, expansive roads with little traffic. Being prepared for this type of cycling could help you avoid being stranded. ● Stay hydrated. Bring a sufficient amount of water and extra. Make sure that you are drinking water throughout your ride. ● Bring snacks, especially things that you enjoy eating so that you can maintain your energy and give your body the fuel it needs for those long rides. ● Bring along a first aid and repair kit just in case something goes wrong. ● Make sure that your bike is tuned up and ready for potentially long rides. ● Ride in a group, or if you are alone, tell someone which route you intend on riding.

Make Yourself Visible:

Making yourself visible will avoid any unwanted run-ins with nearby cars. ● Avoid cycling in cars’ blind spots. Never assume that a car can see you, even if they are right next to it. You can avoid cycling in a blind spot simply by staying behind the car. ● Wear colorful and bright clothing. Avoid wearing darker clothes that could help you blend in with the road. ● Equip your bicycle with appropriate reflectors and lights. Lights will increase your chances of being seen. If possible, we recommend not riding at night.   (c) Race Across America

Happy 100th Birthday, National Park Service!

Canyonlands-Alan-Eng

Canyonlands (c) Alan Eng

August 25th marks the Centennial of the Park Service, and since National Parks are known as America's Great Invention, that's certainly reason to celebrate 100 years!
When it comes to Utah, we know how to do National Parks in style.
Arches-NPS-Jacob-W-Frank

Arches (c) NPS/Jacob W. Frank

Utah's first national park was Zion National Park, created in 1919. But like many of Utah's National Parks, it was first designated as a National Monument. Since then, Utah has 13 designated breathtaking national parks. Some of the favorites? Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef. From Bluff, it's only a short 2 hours to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. And don't forget Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, also managed by the Park Service, where you can play on Lake Powell.
For a full list of Utah's parks, visit here. Many of the Four Corners area parks are having their own 100th Birthday Celebrations.  For example, Mesa Verde is offering free admission August 25-28th.
mesaverdebirthday
The National Monuments in Utah are also managed by the Park Service - so they're in on the celebration too! Hovenweep and Natural Bridges are both having birthday celebrations of their own. Check their Facebook pages and websites for updated event schedules.
Hovenweep National Monument (c) Tony Beeman

Hovenweep National Monument (c) Tony Beeman

 
Natural Bridges (c) Matthew Pintar

Natural Bridges (c) Matthew Pintar

Monument Valley: Towers of Navajo Culture and Icons of Hollywood

Monument valley bluff utah
Monument valley bluff utah

Photo (c) Franck Mahon

Monument Valley: famous for its towering desert red buttes that have been celebrated on the screen since 1939. It is a desert valley unlike any other, with some of its towers rising as high as 1000 feet from the valley floor. Because of its expansive views and Hollywood fame, this Southwest Park has become an American Icon, a must-see on any family road trip. In Navajo language, Monument Valley is called Tse′ Bii’ Ndzisgaii, which means the valley of the rocks. For hundreds of years, the Navajo have raised livestock and farmed small quantities of crops in the valley.  The Navajo regarded this area as an enormous hogan with the Gray Whiskers and Sentinel stone pinnacles standing as its doorposts.  Two soaring buttes, known as the Mittens, were thought to be the hands of a deity. Not just a place of habitation and livelihood, Monument Valley has significant meaning to the many Navajo who took refuge in the valley when forced out of Canyon De Chelly by the U.S. Army during the “Long Walk.”  An 1868 treaty allowed their return to their ancestral homeland and established the Navajo Reservation. Other parts of Monument Valley have been added to the Navajo Reservation over time. Today, an estimated 100 Navajo people live in the valley. Monument Valley is now a Navajo Tribal Park and is accessible to tourists and travelers. Visitors are a crucial component to the economy of Monument Valley, as they are a major source of income to the Navajo People. forrest-gump-monument-valley-feat

Hollywood comes to town

Monument Valley first caught the attention of Hollywood when Trading Post Owner Harry Goulding traveled to a studio in L.A. in 1938 to share photos of the area. After director John Ford saw Goulding’s photo album, he soon after began filming the 1939 movie Stagecoach with John Wayne in Monument Valley. Since then, a long list of Hollywood movies have been filmed in Monument Valley, including: John Wayne in the movie "The Searchers"
  • Forest Gump
  • Easy Rider
  • Thelma and Louise
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Back to the Future III
  • Mission Impossible II
  • And most recently, The Lone Ranger.
Monument Valley on the Utah/Arizona border is on the Grand Circle tour of the Southwest’s greatest parks. It is a perfect stop in between the Grand Canyon and Arches National Park, Mesa Verde or Capital Reef. If it’s not already on your bucket list, make sure to add it and stop by to see these amazing buttes of shale and sandstone. More information on touring the park on our Monument Valley page

Secretary Jewell to discuss protection of Bears Ears at public meeting

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Robert Bonnie are coming to Bluff on Saturday, July 16th for a public listening session on different proposals to protect public lands in the area. Secretary Jewell and Under Secretary Bonnie will be accepting public comments regarding proposals for a Bears Ears National Conservation Area or a Bears Ears National Monument.
cedar mesa ruin

This is an Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwelling in the area seeking protection.

For those wishing to attend the meeting, it will be held at the Bluff Community Center (4th East and Mulberry) from 1-4 pm on the 16th. There will be light refreshments and entertainment. The public meeting will focus on two particular proposals: the Public Lands Initiative legislation spearheaded by Utah Representative Rob Bishop that is proposing a Bears Ears National Conservation for the area and a Bears Ears National Monument proposed by a unique coalition of 5 Native American Tribes. This coalition, the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, is asking President Obama to use the Antiquities Act to create the National Monument. Both proposals seek to protect an area that is rich in prehistoric archaeology and sacred to Native American Tribes and Pueblos. The Bears Ears is a large landscape that encompasses many popular recreation areas including Comb Ridge, Cedar Mesa, Arch Canyon and Indian Creek. It is named after its two central twin buttes that look like Bears Ears and hold great significance to many Native Americans. The Bears Ears is famous for the cliff dwellings and rock art left by Ancestral Puebloans and other prehistoric peoples. For more information about the public meeting, you can read the Department of the Interior's Media Release and the latest blog by local conservation organization Friends of Cedar Mesa.