July 19, 2011 Hanksville, UT to Bluff, UT

I think a person could spend weeks and weeks in Utah and still be amazed by what lies around the next corner. This morning we depart Hanksville and travel down UT-95. It’s designated a scenic byway. Well, it is so incredibly gorgeous – red rock walls, arches, cottonwoods, no traffic. We pull into a picnic area to adjust some jingling luggage and snap a photo of an arch under construction.

Arch by Hog Spring Picnic Area, UT-95

About fifteen minutes later, sweeping vistas of Lake Powell unfold. The lake looks like it has more water in it than in past years. We boated on Lake Powell 20 years ago and were shocked when we saw it about 5 years ago. It must have been down over 50 feet. It’s good to see it making some recovery.
Lake Powell near Hite

Bridge over the Colorado River at Hite

Although we spend quite a bit of time stopping here and there for a picture or a view, we arrive at Natural Bridges National Monument around 10 AM.
John at the Natural Bridges Monument

After a friendly chat with the ranger inside the visitor’s center, we decide to go to the overlooks for the first two bridges and hike to the third. It’s actually the only one we haven’t hiked down to of the three. The bridges are formed by water flowing up against the rock and eroding away the softer areas until a new waterway is created. Arches are formed differently.
You can see Sipapu Bridge just above the sign

Kachina bridge is between John and the sign

Partway down to Owachomo Bridge

Having seen a dirt road leading to an overlook on the map, we have our next destination, Muley Point. It looks like one should be able to see Monument Valley, the Navajo Tribal Park from there. The road takes us far out on a spit of land overlooking a vast valley. The views are spectacular.
Monument Valley from Muley Point

John on top of the world

We try to find some lunch in Mexican Hat to no avail. The proprietor of the cafe tells us he is too busy to make lunch. So we head up to Bluff, get lunch, check in to the hotel and later have dinner at the Cottonwood Steakhouse. It advertises Home Cookin’. It’s better than last night’s dinner but not by a whole lot. I am hoping for better dining tomorrow in Durango, CO.
Colorful mountain on the way to Mexican Hat

Twenty years ago our rafting trip with the kids down the San Juan River ended here at Mexican Hat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *