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The Hole-in-the-Rock Journey/San Juan Mission
A Colonization Endeavor of Unparalled Challenges
A Demonstration of Unwavering Commitment and Devotion

Bluff Fort Historic Site

The Bluff Fort Historic Site
Upon their arrival in the San Juan area in April 1880, the Hole-in-the-Rock pioneers established a small community called Bluff. Their first dwellings were one-room log cabins, arranged to form a large open fort.

Join us for a unique glimpse into pioneer life on the San Juan frontier. Admission is free! Click on this image/text or the "Bluff Fort tab" on the left for hours and more details.

Bluff Fort Newest Church Historic site Dedicated
Click on text to see the article in the Church News.

Bluff Fort Check out Our Facebook Page
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Bluff Fort Co-op; Exterior Feb 2013 The Bluff Stone Co-op 1890's

Co-op Replica - New Visitors' Center Open
In a corner of the fort, the Bluff pioneers established a cooperative trading post. A replica of the co-op is now Open. Click on the image or this text to view pictures taken during construction of the new co-op.

The Bluff Fort Historic Fort, 2009, L. Crabtree Photo The Hole-in-the-Rock Trail
In 1879-80, Mormon pioneers built a wagon road between established communities in southwestern Utah and the Four Corners area. They were fulfilling an assignment from their church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to establish a settlement in the area. Their journey turned into an ordeal of unparalleled difficulty as they blazed a route across some of the most broken and rugged terrain in North America. Photograph: 1963 reenactment of a covered wagon coming up Cottonwood Hill with the Hole-in-the-Rock crevice in the background. Courtesy of the Utah State Board of Education.

Kanab LDS Stake  Pioneer Trek on the Hole-in-the-Rock Trail
Youth Groups and the Hole-in-the-Rock Trail (Trekking)

Groups who visit a site of historical significance along the Hole-in-the-Rock Trail or walk over ground, hallowed by the sacrifice and struggles of the San Juan pioneers, can have a remarkable experience. Click on this text or the image for additional information.

Charles Walton ChildrenBiographies, Journals and Photographs
Our online collection of biographies, journals, and histories convey the story of early pioneer life and the sacrifices, conviction, and determination of the pioneers who established a community in one of the most remote regions of the West. Photo: Children of Louise & Charles Walton children, Bluff Utah, about 1893. Courtesy of the San Juan County Historic Commission.

Covered Wagon at the Bluff Historic Fort. Lamont Crabtree PhotoThe Foundation
The Hole-in-the-Rock Foundation was organized to facilitate the ongoing development of the Bluff Fort Historic Site and interpretive projects throughout the Hole-in-the-Rock Trail.
Photo: One of the covered wagons at the Bluff Historic Fort.

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The Hole-in-the-Rock Foundation - Preserving the History and Sharing the Legacy


“If we have plenty of stickie-ta-tudy, we cannot fail.”
Jens Nielson


“… there was something more than human power associated with it.” Kumen Jones


“The unity among the people, coming out with no conveniences, and yet they were just as happy as they could be.”
Sarah Williams