Friends of Bluff

Organizations who provide aid to those in need, help preserve Bluff’s culture and protect the area’s archeological and historic treasures. 

Centrally located in the Four Corners region, Bluff sits on the banks of the San Juan River.  Truly a southwest treasure, this small town hosts some of the world’s most treasured archeological sites and has become a major historic site in southern Utah.

Thanks to the hard work of numerous organizations, the cultural, historic and archeological treasures of Bluff and the surrounding areas have been protected and maintained for future generations.

Located just over the river from the Navajo Reservation, many volunteer organizations utilize Bluff as a base to provide aid to those in the area who are in need.  Assistance may be through innovative sustainable housing, donation of goods and time, and education.

Learn more about these wonderful organizations we consider to be Friends of Bluff. 


DesignBuildBLUFF offers architecture students the chance to design and build a new home for a deserving Navajo family in Bluff.

On a budget of $30,000, students design and build a home with a focus on sustainability and respect for the unique social, cultural and environmental needs of the region.  Students are encouraged to explore alternative and innovative building materials and methods.

The program was started by Hank Lewis and students from the University of Utah.  The program  has expanded and now includes students from Colorado University.

Design Build Bluff creates a home for a family in need, but also creates more conscientious and emphatic architects for the benefit of the entire community.  Read more about Design Build Bluff and see other examples of the beautiful homes they build.

Friends of Cedar Mesa

Friends of Cedar Mesa  is a non-profit, grassroots organization that acts as a voice for the “crown jewel” of the Colorado Plateau – Cedar Mesa.  Dedicated to the protection of the Greater Cedar Mesa area, covering 450 square miles of the Grand Gulch Primitive Area, the efforts of this essential organization help conserve the ruins and world-class rock art of the Cedar Mesa.

Most often, it’s the voices of the small communities in these historic areas that go unheard, as delegation and decisions regarding federal lands are dealt with at the nation’s capital. According to Friends of Cedar Mesa, congress has recently decided they would not act on protected federal lands legislation without local support. With the help of region and national cohorts, the aim of this grassroots organization is to secure local advocacy. Headquarters for Friends of Cedar mesa are located in Bluff.

Hole-in-the-Rock Foundation

The mission of the Hole-in-the Rock Foundation’s (HIRF) is to preserve, perpetuate and promote the historical legacy of the Hole-in-the-Rock San Juan Mission pioneers.  Bluff’s first Anglo settlers, the San Juan pioneers accomplished the seemingly impossible through unwavering commitment and devotion.

The original Bluff Fort has been rebuilt and lovingly restored through the efforts of HIRF and is open to visitors free of charge. Through numerous HIRF service projects, replicas of the original log cabins and the Meetinghouse have been constructed to give the visitor a glimpse of pioneer life on the San Juan in the 1880’s.  HIRF also raised money to build a replica of the recently completed Bluff Fort Co-op Store which will serve as a Visitors Center.  An extensive amount of biographical information on the San Juan pioneers is available on the HIRF website.

Navajo Santa

Navajo Santa strives to enhance the lives of indigenous people in and around the Utah strip. Navajo Santa acknowledges and supports the strengths and needs of the Navajo people through the spirit of giving while fostering trust and respect between cultures.

Navajo Santa provides support through three annual programs:  Navajo Santa Family Delivery of gifts to families in need; Navajo Santa Giveaway of food, warm clothing, tools, toys and a traditional Navajo dinner; and the Navajo Santa Goes to School Program in which students receive coats, back to school items, eye exams, dental education and hygiene kits.