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Things to Do near Blanding, Utah

Stone Lizard Lodge is centrally located near many of Southern Utah's most iconic attractions. We've listed a few of our favorites below. For more information, give us a call at your convenience.

Arch Canyon Trail

South of the Abajo Mountains and west of Comb Ridge in San Juan County lies Arch Canyon, famous for it’s three arches, Cathedral, Angel, and Keystone. Along the way, look for the Arch Canyon and Jailhouse ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) ruins along the cliffs left behind by the Ancestral Puebloans who once inhabited the area. From Comb Wash, a trail leading 7 miles up the canyon, can be hiked or driven on ATVs or other high clearance vehicles. From the end of the trail, visitors can see Cathedral Arch. Angel Arch lays a half a mile further up the canyon, while Keystone Arch is found another 2.5 miles farther.

Bears Ears National Monument

A pair of towering buttes stand against beautiful scenery. Shash Jaa, a unit of Bears Ears National Monument, covers 129,980 acres of red rock that encompasses fascinating geologic features, juniper forests, cultural, historic and prehistoric legacy that includes an abundance of early human and Native American historical artifacts left behind by early Clovis people, then later Ancestral Puebloans, Fremont culture and others. Perhaps of greatest modern interest are the remnants of incredible cliff dwellings, some in remarkably good condition even after hundreds of years of vacancy.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park preserves 337,598 acres of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires in the heart of southeast Utah's high desert. Water and gravity have been the prime architects of this land, sculpting layers of rock into the rugged landscape you see today. The Needles Districs forms the southeast corner of Canyonlands and was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate the area. Hiking trails offer many opportunities for long day hikes and overnight trips. Foot trails and four-wheel-drive roads lead to such features as Tower Ruin, Confluence Overlook, Elephant Hill, the Joint Trail, and Chesler Park.

Cedar Mesa and Grand Gulch

The Cedar Mesa area encompasses up to 1.9 million acres and is home to more than 100,000 archaeological sites. It is considered among the country’s most important indigenous cultural areas. The area's remote, rugged backcountry trails are not for everyone. But for adventurers with a love of solitude, archaeology and geographic beauty, this area has it all. A great place to start your adventure is the serpentine Grand Gulch. Often called an “outdoor museum” because of its dense concentration of Ancestral Puebloans’ ruins and rock art, Cedar Mesa's Grand Gulch is a destination that offers many opportunities for recreation, exploration and discovery.

Comb Ridge and Butler Wash

Tilted at an angle of almost 20 degrees, Comb Ridge is an ancient rock formation tapered along the desert landscape of southeastern Utah. A linear north to south-trending monocline, this immense sandstone formation is nearly one hundred and twenty miles long and one mile wide. This blunt rock extension occurred nearly 65 million years ago, when tectonic plates buried deep under the earth’s surface slipped, leaving a rugged scar across the face of the once smooth stone. These jagged and weathered crags sharply ascend up steep summits then drop into unexpected depths with staggering and sudden recurrence. They loom from 300 to 900 feet above the empty plains, before disappearing into the surrounding washes.

Dinosaur Museum

At The Dinosaur Museum, the complete history of the world of the dinosaurs is presented. Skeletons, fossilized skin, eggs, footprints, state-of-the-art graphics, and beautifully realistic sculptures present the dinosaurs from the Four Corners region and throughout the globe. In the museum you will see exhibits which show dinosaurs from the different countries and how they were distributed throughout the globe. You will also view the latest in dinosaur skin research, which shows startling new aspects to some familiar dinosaurs. Enjoy the displays of dinosaur eggs from around the world, and the baby Protoceratops and Maiasaura sculptures. Deinonychus raptors, Six life-size ten foot long and a giant feathered Therizinosaurus are among a few of the dinosaurs on display.

Goosenecks State Park

On the edge of a deep canyon above the sinuous river meander known as a gooseneck, gaze at the results of 300 million years of geological activity. This small park affords impressive views of where the San Juan River winds and carves its way through the desert 1,000 feet below. The River below twists and turns through the meander, flowing a distance of over six miles while advancing one and half miles west on its way to Lake Powell.

Hovenweep National Monument

Once home to over 2,500 people, Hovenweep includes six prehistoric villages built between A.D. 1200 and 1300. Explore a variety of structures, including multistory towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders. The construction and attention to detail will leave you marveling at the skill and motivation of the builders. While expansive views and epic desert sunsets are sure to impress!

Montezuma Canyon

Three Kiva Ruin is only one of the many cultural sites peppered through this ancient settled canyon city. This stabilized pueblo was part of a large and thriving community that took advantage of the resources that the canyon had to offer. Easy to access and drive along its graveled roads, a wonderful resource only 15 miles west of Blanding.

Valley of the Gods

A number of tall, red, isolated mesas, buttes, and cliffs tower above the valley floor and can be seen while driving along the 17-mile gravel road on which it sits. Carved over the course of 250 million years from the Cedar Mesa sandstone, the variety of formations shows the power of time, water, wind, and ice at play in this desert landscape. There is hiking throughout the Valley of the Gods, but it’s more of an exploration in cross-country meandering, as there are no established trails. Valley of the Gods is perfect for auto tourists looking for a quiet backway and more adventurous travelers looking to explore grand open landscapes — just come prepared with plenty of water, sun protection and a good plan.
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