San Juan County, Utah audio tour: Pioneers in the Wild West: A Walk Through Historical Bluff

Pioneers in the Wild West: A Walk Through Historical Bluff

Walking Tour

30 mins

About the Tour

Have you ever wondered what it was like to settle in one of the most remote and inhospitable corners of the American West? On this walking tour, you'll take a stroll back in time in the stark and beautiful landscape of the Utah canyonlands to discover the fascinating history of Bluff. You’ll hear stories about the earliest inhabitants who coexisted in harmony with the elements, and the Mormon settlers who sought out religious freedom in a harsh land many years later. Along the way, we’ll visit some of the key sites in this little town’s history.

You’ll also learn about:

• The historical home of Al Scorup, a poor cattleman turned banker
• Polygamous Mormons’ hideouts
• A sacred Navajo landmark
• Households built through pioneer industry and felled by epidemic
• The colorful characters that form part of the town’s history

The tour begins beside a significant trading post and passes by ‘The Fort’, a reconstruction of the original Bluff settlement that was founded by the original ‘Hole in the Rock’ pioneers. There’s a cafe near the start of the tour where you can purchase refreshments before or after you set off on this trek through time.

Tour Producer


Karen Walker

I'm Karen, a retired educator and hiking guide. My husband and I run an adventure travel company that specializes in hiking tours around the world. I also taught English and was a school administrator for many years. One of my favorite parts of running a school was creating outdoor and travel opportunities for students. I currently split my time between Bluff, Utah and Ophir, Colorado where you'll find me hiking, exploring, and Nordic skiing. My husband and I also spend a lot of time abroad, especially in the Alps where we develop inn-to-inn hiking tours for our guests. Wherever I travel, I love to learn about the regional history and culture, so to combine my interests I started creating tours with VoiceMap. I think that GPS based walking tours are a really fun way to explore an area and learn while walking!

Major Landmarks

  • Bluff Utah

  • Bears Ears National Monument

  • Navajo Twins

  • Twin Rocks Trading Post

  • Al Scorup House

  • Platte Lyman House

  • Lemuel Redd House

Directions to Starting Point

The tour starts in front of the Twin Rocks Cafe, just off highway 191 at the northeast end of the town of Bluff, Utah.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

If you are interested in a meal, the Twin Rocks Cafe is great for casual southwestern and Navajo inspired cuisine. The Comb Ridge Eat Drink at the southwest end of town is also a favorite and serves traditional bistro selections. Two trading posts, the Twin Rocks and the Cow Canyon Trading Post across highway 191 offer local and native arts. Some of their pieces are museum quality and their proprietors are friendly and knowledgeable, so leave some time to explore these trading posts. The Fort reconstruction managed by the Hole-in-the-Rock Foundation is another destination to learn about the Mormon pioneers who settled Bluff.

Best time of day

This tour is great anytime in the daylight. In summer months, the morning and evening are the best to avoid the heat.


Bring water during the summer months.


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Pioneers in the Wild West: A Walk Through Historical Bluff