Bluff Fort Historic Site commemorates the original pioneer town founded by Mormon missionaries at the end of their expedition to settle the San Juan area in 1880. Featuring recreations of the town, complete with meetinghouse and cabins decked with some original furnishings provided by local families, Bluff Fort offers an interactive historical experience.
Visitors can tour inside reconstructed log cabins and Native American dwellings, sit on covered wagons, and more as they learn about the lives of these remarkable pioneers. Significant attractions at Bluff Fort Historic Site include an authentic replica of the Bluff Meetinghouse, the social epicenter of the community used as a church, school, courthouse, and dance hall, and the Barton Cabin, the oldest existing pioneer structure in San Juan County. Of the original forty or so cabins that once formed the fort the Barton Cabin is the only original structure remaining. Today a stone monument erected in 2005 stands at the center of Bluff Fort Historic Site as a proud reminder of the original pioneers and their treacherous 250-mile Hole-in-the-Rock trek.
The most recent additions to the fort include a replica of the original Co-op Store, which serves as a visitor center and gift shop. The Co-op store was completed in 2013 and features interactive displays such as a 'talking wall' which introduces guests to the center and invites them to view a multi-media presentation about the Hole in the Rock and San Juan Mission.
Another recent addition is the giant waterwheel in the center of the grounds, where visitors can try their hand at gold panning!