Mexican Hat
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lands

San Juan County abounds with recreational opportunities requiring travel off the beaten path. Visitors should contact local visitor information facilities to determine road conditions and weather forecasts before venturing off-highway. For more information, visit the Bureau of Land Management website.


Newspaper Rock

Newspaper Rock Recreation Site

Accessible via Utah Highway 211

  • No Visitor Contact Station
  • Campground
  • No Ranger Programs

Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument is perhaps the largest, best-known and accessible petroglyph panel in Utah. The 200-square foot Wingate sandstone panel is covered with more than 650 symbols evidencing nearly 2,000 years of human history. The human, animal, and abstract symbols etched into Newspaper Rock are mostly undeciphered, but are believed to represent the Basketmaker, Fremont, Ancestral Puebloan, Navajo, and even Anglo cultures that have occupied the area throughout the centuries. The Navajo nicknamed Newspaper Rock Tse’ Hane, meaning “rock that tells a story.” The images have been inscribed in the rock’s “desert varnish,” a black manganese-iron deposit common on sandstone cliffs.
Newspaper Rock is State Historic Monument is located just off State Road 211 (the main road leading to Canyonlands National Park’s Needles District), about twelve miles west of the junction with U.S. Highway 191. The historic monument is just 24 miles northwest of Monticello, in a sheltered setting beneath 250-foot cliffs. There are no fees to visit the monument.


Canyon Rims Recreation Site

Accessible via US Highway 191 and San Juan County Road #133
Paved and graded gravel roads throughout

  • No Visitor Contact Station
  • 2 Campgrounds
  • No Ranger Programs


Needles Overlook

Spectacular view into the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.
Accessible from US Highway 191

  • Interpretive Display
  • Wind Whistle Campground


Anticline Overlook

Accessible via San Juan County Road #132
Graded gravel road

  • Interpretive Display
  • Hatch Point Campground (primitive)


Beef Basin

Accessible via Utah Highway 211 and San Juan County Road #107
High clearance and four wheel drive required.
Permit restrictions: Call the Monticello BLM Field Office at 435-587-1500

  • Dispersed Camping
  • No Services


Dark Canyon, Utah

Dark Canyon Primitive Area

Travel restricted to foot and horseback, except on designated primitive roads.

  • Stellar opportunities for backpacking
  • Portions maintained by the US Forest Service
  • Varous Access Points: Contact local visitor information at
  • Permit Restrictions: Call the Monticello BLM Field Office at
    435-587-1500 or the Monticello US Forest Service Ranger District at


Comb Wash

Follows Comb Ridge from the Abajo Mountains to the San Juan River

  • Primitive Camping
  • No Services


Grand Gulch

Grand Gulch Primitive Area

Travel limited to foot or horseback
Accessible via Utah Highways 95 and 261
Permit required: Call the Monticello BLM Field Office at 435-587-1500

  • Glimpse life lived in the past
  • Ancient Puebloan ruins



Mule Canyon Ruin

Mule Canyon Ruin

An easily accessible Puebloan ruin consisting of a kiva, residence block, and tower.

  • Interpretive signing
  • Pit toilet
  • Ample parking
  • Accessible for the physically challenged



Valley of the Gods, Utah

Valley of the Gods

Freestanding sandstone monoliths, delicate spires, and rock fins
Accessible from Utah Highways 163 and 361

  • Located on the Trail of the Ancients
  • 17 mile loop drive on native surface
  • High clearance recommended
  • No Services