Bluff Fort

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4292- 4304 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Black Locust Ave.
Fee: none
Attractions: Outdoor museum and Visitor Center




Bluff Fort is an Historic Site located in Bluff, Utah. The fort was built when Mormon pioneers arrived in the area in 1880 after an arduous 6 month journey by way of the Hole-in-the-Rock trail. The fort has been rebuilt by the Hole in the Rock Foundation. A few of the implements and other items belonged to the original pioneers. They are augmented with other authentic articles that date from the same time period. Visiting Bluff Fort is truly like stepping back in time to the late 1800's.


The Bluff Fort Visitor Center is located at 550 East Black Locust street. It is easy enough to find by anyone driving through Bluff on the highway.


The Visitor Center, which is a replica of the Co-op Store, was rebuilt in 2013 and is open from 9am - 6pm daily. They show a movie that teaches about the pioneers journey as well as offering a good assortment of trinkets and treats. Public restrooms with running water are available on the east side of the building.


If you have ever been out on the actual Emigrant trail you would be even more amazed to look at one of the original wagons that made the journey. It is hard to imagine that you could keep anything that was made of wood in one piece over that trail.


Besides all the pioneer cabins and implements there is also a traditional Navajo hogan and a Ute teepee. Both are furnished on the inside making them even more interesting to see.


A large waterwheel that probably wasn't part of the original fort is situated behind the co-op store. There is a good chance that there was probably one nearby either along the San Juan River or elsewhere. It is a functioning waterwheel which is nice for those that have never seen how one operates.


The cabins are laid out in a square around the central courtyard with all of their windows and doors facing inwards. All of the cabins are finely constructed replicas except the Barton cabin which is one of the originals.


Each of the cabins is decorated differently from the others so seeing one isn't like seeing them all. They all contain a number of unique antiques. Some of the antiques are rare enough that you might never have seen them in any museum or even imagined that such a thing ever existed.


Besides the cabins that served as homes there was a school, meeting houses and even this blacksmith shop.


One of the most fascinating features of the fort are the many wagons that are on display in the central courtyard.


There are wagons of every type imaginable as well as many that don't even appear in old black and white western movies.


We have stopped at the Bluff Fort on a number of occasions over the years. It is a good place to get local information and current road and trail conditions. The restrooms are always clean, the people are friendly and if you have a hankering for some ice cream, cookies or brownies they can take care of that too. If you have time you can dress up in pioneer clothes and take pictures of yourself in an authentic setting. We can pretty much bet that there will be something at the fort that will amaze you. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.