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Blue Mountain
Horsehead Inn

Exploration Guide

Two-Day Exploration Guide

Two days is barely enough time to scratch the surface of this area, but you can get the idea and enjoy the beautiful scenery that will make you feel like your in an old west movie. 

First full day- Start out in Monticello with a wonderful breakfast from Peace Tree two blocks away, and while your at it let them wrap you up some lunch to go too!(In a cooler of course) 

Then head towards Moab, your going to hit this area hard and fast, but its going to blow your mind! First drive into Arches National Park,(small fee), your going to drive through the park and head towards Delicate Arch. Once you get to Delicate Arch you need to decide, am I wanting to do an invigorating hike, or am I just wanting to see this Arch everyone keeps raving about. If you do the hike, take a backpack and alot of water!! I cant say that enough. This hike in the summer, can be pretty daunting, and one bottle of water is not going to be enough. If you choose to just "see" the arch, there is a nice walkway to a view point, or you can walk up a rocky path to get a better view.

Stop in Moab for your lunch, and a little bit of shopping. If you grabbed a lunch go to any one of Moabs beautiful parks in town and enjoy the quiet space, or have lunch at my favorite Italian restaurant,"Pasta J's". And if you liked Peace Tree in Monticello, your going to love the one in Moab!

Your next stop is Needles Overlook, 7 miles north of Needles entrance. It is a 20 - 30 minute drive in, but what you see is worth the drive! I like to call it our Mini Grand Canyon. Once you get to Needles overlook, you will see all of Canyonlands National Park Scenic Area. Needles district, Island in the Sky, and so much more!

So now you've seen a lot of pretty rock formations and beautiful views, but your not done yet!

You probably won't have the time to go to the Needles Park Entrance(unless you have really cruised), I highly suggest it if you make it to the Highway Entrance by 12pm or so. However, you can still take advantage of "Newspaper Rock". It is a 20 - 30 minute drive in but you will see the turn off on the right. It is an easy walk to the petroglyphs. This was the equivalent of Facebook, for their day.

Next and hopefully around 5pm or so, take the drive to our beautiful "Blue Mountain". This drive is a fun way to see wildlife such as deer, rabbit, wild turkeys, and sometimes Bear(Do Not Feed any wildlife please). It is a gorgeous change in scenery with the beautiful Aspen trees, you will feel like your in the Rocky Mountains. There is a nice overlook to see all of Canyonlands and Manti-La Sal Mountain Range. If you would like to do some evening fishing and you have gotten a local license there are three lakes on the mountain that are not only beautiful but wonderful for fishing and relaxing!

Finish your drive into Monticello, and head to Horsehead Grill, R&Fs, or maybe Peacetree is your thing now, and grab some dinner. Peacetree is the only restaurant in Monticello that currently has a beer and wine license.

Another must see is the new, Four Corners Discovery Center. This will officially have its grand opening in August, but they don't mind you coming in and seeing the beautiful building and the land with picnic tables and an awesome view! fourcornersschool.org

Second Full Day- Breakfast at R&Fs, and now we are heading southbound! Grab some lunch from Subways in Blanding,(brand new), and keep on keepin' on!

Drive on 191 until you get to 95. Your heading to Natural Bridges Monument. This is a circle drive and some hiking if you would like. Such a beautiful sight to see what nature can do.

Now your going to get back onto 95 until you hit 261. I'm not going to lie to you this can get a bit scary and if your afraid of heights or small roads, this isn't for you. There are some switchbacks and graded roads, but it is worth it! Think about how the pioneers felt! You can head out to Muley Point, or keep going to Valley of the Gods, and Gooseneck state park. So much to see so little time.

After your panic attack from the switchbacks, and your feeling of awe from the Valley of the Gods, your going to head to 163 towards Bluff. You can stop at Twin Rocks Cafe and have some dinner or you can keep driving to Monticello and go to Horsehead Grill for dinner.

Your probably exausted now and thinking, "wow I just saw alot!" Hopefully you got a million pictures and crazy selfie's to show off to your friends. Don't be afraid to have fun with it!

Come on back to your clean, comfy room at the Blue Mountain Horsehead Inn and ask us,"What the heck is the Horsehead? And why is it the name of everything in town?" And then get a good nights sleep knowing you have stood where Johnny Depp stood, while filming the newer version of "The Lone Ranger" and John Wayne in so many of the films made in our beautiful area. Sweet Dreams!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three-Day Exploration Guide

So you have dedicated three whole days to seeing SE Utah and your wondering to yourself," Where do I begin?" I am going to help you out, by giving you an idea of what you can do in three full days.

First Full Day- Get up early, and grab some breakfast at Peacetree Cafe. Make sure and bring lots of water and a backpack with some snacks and I suggest grabbing a wrap from Peacetree to put in the cooler for lunch.Then head to Moab on 191. Your going to drive through Moab and head like your driving to I-70. Take the turn on 313 to Dead Horse State Park(small fee) and Island in the sky(buy a national park pass, it works at arches and needles as well). Drive through the beautiful scenery that unfolds before you and decided if your up for a hike. Then when you are ready you can head out to 191 again and onto Arches national park. If you have small children a really great stop is at the new Moab Giants museum, you can't go wrong with dinosaurs and a 5 year old. They will learn and be able to use their imaginations to see the giants that used to roam this area freely. Moabgiants.com

In Arches you can drive, hike, or stare. Its all up to you. There are larger hikes, for the more adventurous, or lighter hikes for the, "that sounds like exercise," group. Or just enjoy the drive and stop and take pictures along the way. Seeing Arches at sunset is amazing!

Head back into Moab and stop for dinner or come on back to Monticello, and grab a bite to eat at one of our four restaurants in town. Peacetree is the only restaurant with a beer and wine license at this time.

Second Full Day- By now you are exhausted, but still excited to see the sights. I recommend setting up an awesome tour with Four Corners Adventures, they can do full or half day tours and let them do some of the driving! Or you can rent different fun all terrain vehicles if your rental car isn't quite doing it for you. However, if you just want to go and find yourself without a tour, I suggest heading our to the Needles district of Canyonlands. I always recommend going the route from 200 south which has a lovely drive on the mountain and drops into Canyonlands right at Newspaper rock. You will go on paved road from beautiful aspen trees to red rock in a matter of minutes. Such a wonderful example of the different terrains here in high desert.

The first carvings at the Newspaper Rock site were made around 2,000 years ago, left by people from the Archaic, Anasazi, Fremont, Navajo, Anglo, and Pueblo cultures.-wikepedia I call it the facebook of the Anasazi.

Then drive on into the Needles district and spend the day hiking and seeing the sights. I can't stress enough to bring lots of water and snacks. I always keep a 12 pack of bottled water, just in case and some snacks. 

When you make it back to Monticello, if the information center is still open, I suggest taking a stroll through there. A mini history museum of the area is attatched and if you have questions, these are the people to ask!

Head over to R&Fs for dinner, especially if it is a Wednesday night, all the locals know to go because its Mexican Food night and what a treat it is!

Third Full Day- Today you are heading south!

Grab some lunch from Subways in Blanding,(brand new), and keep on keepin' on!

Drive on 191 until you get to 95. Your heading to Natural Bridges Monument. This is a circle drive and some hiking if you would like. Such a beautiful sight to see what nature can do. 

Now your going to get back onto 95 until you hit 261. I'm not going to lie to you this can get a bit scary and if your afraid of heights or small roads, this isn't for you. There are some switchbacks and graded roads, but it is worth it! Think about how the pioneers felt! You can head out to Muley Point, or keep going to Valley of the Gods, and Gooseneck state park. So much to see so little time.

After your panic attack from the switchbacks, and your feeling of awe from the Valley of the Gods, your going to head to 163 towards Bluff. You can stop at Twin Rocks Cafe and have some dinner or you can keep driving to Monticello and go to Horsehead Grill for dinner.

Your probably exausted now and thinking, "wow I just saw alot!" Hopefully you got a million pictures and crazy selfie's to show off to your friends. Don't be afraid to have fun with it!

Come on back to your clean, comfy room at the Blue Mountain Horsehead Inn and ask us,"What the heck is the Horsehead? And why is it the name of everything in town?" And then get a good nights sleep knowing you have stood where Johnny Depp stood, while filming the newer version of "The Lone Ranger" and John Wayne in so many of the films made in our beautiful area. Sweet Dreams!

 

 

Four-Day Exploration Guide

Four whole days in our area is a wonderful way to get back to nature, and breathe again. I suggest reading the three day guide, because on the fourth day I'm adding museums that are a must see and some other possibilities.

Fourth Full Day- By now you know our little town pretty well and can decide where you want to go for breakfast. Peacetree, R&Fs, and PJ's are all open for breakfast between 7am and 8am. Another treat is the Studio Coffee House. It is an art gallery and cafe tucked into a cute little house just off Main street in Monticello. Stop by there to get an awesome specialty coffee. However, today I am sending you south to Blanding again. In Blanding there is an awesome museum called Edge of the Cedars state park. It has wonderful anasazi pottery and tells of the history of the area. Another stop in Blanding is Cedar Mesa Pottery, where you get to see them make the pottery on a short tour. There is an Art Gallery in Blanding, with beautiful paintings and photographs of the area that you may want to take home. The visitors center also has a museum attached. If you have kids or if your a kid at heart, you don't want to miss the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding. It is very inexpensive, but very detailed and lots to see including a huge petrified wood tree! Learn how to see dinosaur footprints as you are hiking the area, you may have already seen some and not even known it!

There are some wonderful trading posts in Blanding and Monticello. Find some souvenirs or handmade pottery to take home or a unique piece of jewellery. In Monticello right next to our little inn is a wonderful trading post, with lots of unique items.

Grabbing some lunch at the Patio or Yaks in Blanding is a locals favorite. As you head out of Blanding, you will see Recapture Damn. A wonderful space for locals to go fishing and relax. You can rent a paddle board or kayak from Four Corners Adventures and float your day away! Local fishing licenses are available at Clarks Market groceries. Ace Hardware in Blanding or True Value in Monticello, will have fishing accesories you may need, just fyi.

Heading back towards Monticello is Devils Canyon. There is a wonderful drive that begins on the second entrance to Recapture Damn and comes out at Devils Canyon entrance. It will be some dirt roads, so make sure if you take this drive you have a good map of the area, and it's not too muddy.

Another wonderful thing to do is going up onto the "Blue Mountain" as the locals call it. You will see some wonderful foliage and wildlife, and some beautiful almost mystical places to have a picnic. There is a drive that goes from Blanding to the Monticello side of the mountain, but I highly suggest you get a good map of the area before attempting this drive because if you don't know the area, its easy to get lost. And as always bring lots of water and snacks! There are national forest rangers on the mountain, so if you get lost or broken down do not walk away from your vehicle, even though it seems remote a lot of rangers and locals will drive by and most are willing to help in time of need. Cell phone reception is spotty at best on the mountain, keep that in mind. GPS is great in most areas, except ours. We have a lot of roads that are not on the gps mapping systems, or some are just plain wrong. Please always keep a recent, detailed map of the area when deciding to wonder off into areas unknown. Even locals get confused and they know these roads well.

On the Monticello side of the moun'an, as most locals will pronounce it, are three beautiful lakes. Lloyd’s lake has a walking path around it great for running or biking. It also has a nice picnic area that has fire pits for the cool evenings. Monticello lake is a fishing heaven, but bring the bug spray because those gnats and mosquito's will get'cha. Foy lake is at the top of the mountain on the Monticello side. It is a dense lake but very picturesque. There have been bear sightings up there so make sure all your food is put up and you keep your eyes and ears open for sounds.

Now I am going to give you another option for the fourth day. Instead of the museums and such, you may want a little more excitement. Maybe floating in cool waters on a hot sunny day with a little white water thrill thrown in is your kind of thing. You could head south to Bluff and hire a tour company to take you river rafting on the San Juan River with beautiful rocks and history all around you, or you could head north again to Moab, and go on the good ol' Colorado river with red rocks jutting out on all sides and awe inspiring buttes in the background. Tough to choose! Maybe you should just stay for one or two more days to pack it all in!

Whatever your fourth, fifth, or sixth day entails, it is always nice to come back to a clean, comfortable room, that didn't cost you an arm and a leg, with friendly service and a smile. There is so much more to do in our amazing area of the world, that there is no way to list it all, but we would love to have you stay with us and let us help you find your next adventure!

232 North Main St., Monticello, UT 84535, United States  
P: (435) 587-2251  
E: admin@bmhhinn.com