Grand Gulch Primitive Area

Southeastern Utah

Popular with backcountry hikers, this BLM-administered area also contains hundreds of Ancestral Puebloan sites, many of which have been vandalized by pot hunters. (It bears repeating that all prehistoric sites are protected by law, and authorities are cracking down on offenders.) Some hikes require permits due to their fragility and popularity. With little to no trail signage and some tough terrain, it's best for experienced hikers.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Southeastern Utah attractions

1. Natural Bridges National Monument

8.47 MILES

Forty miles west of Blanding via Hwy 95, this monument became Utah's first National Park Service land in 1908. The highlight is a dark-stained, white…

2. Bears Ears National Monument

16.23 MILES

Designated as a National Monument in December 2016 as one of President Barack Obama's last acts, Bears Ears originally covered a large 1.35-million-acre…

3. Valley of the Gods

17.63 MILES

Up and over, through and around: the 17-mile unpaved road (County Rd 242) that leads through Valley of the Gods is like a do-it-yourself roller coaster…

4. Goosenecks State Park

21.5 MILES

If you head north of Mexican Hat on Hwy 261, you'll come to a 4-mile paved road that turns west to Goosenecks. The attraction here is the mesmerizing view…

5. Mexican Hat Rock

22.4 MILES

Pretty cool that they named the town after this sombrero-shaped rock formation. It's about 2 miles north off Hwy 163.

6. Sand Island Petroglyph Panel

24.51 MILES

On BLM land 3 miles west of Bluff, these freely accessible petroglyphs were created between 800 and 2500 years ago. The nearby campground boat launch is…

7. Bluff Fort

26.63 MILES

Descendants of the original pioneers have re-created the original log cabin settlement near the few remaining historic buildings in Bluff.

8. Dinosaur Museum

27.99 MILES

Blanding's Dinosaur Museum is fascinating and highly ambitious; it's aim is to cover the complete history of the world’s dinosaurs. Mummified remains and…