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Desert Links and Local Information


The following are links to locations you may want to visit during your travels. The list will be kept quite basic, to the necessities- information and permitting sources, outfitters, gas, food, coffee, and internet. The links are arranged by town. This arrangement may change over time as more links are added or removed.

Useful Information:
Click here for information on fire restrictions in the state of Utah.
Listen to KTNN- The Voice of the Navajo Nation online. It is fun and interesting to listen to the station as you drive through the area. They play a native song just after the hour and half hour, and the other two kinds of music the rest of the time (country and western).
Utah streamflow information- realtime data on river flows from the USGS. Scroll through the list to find the nearest gage to your area of operation and click.
Order topographic maps online- from the USGS Store. They are six dollars each plus shipping. You can also download free digital versions of many 1:24,000 mapsheets. They are PDF's and can be opened in Photoshop for cropping and editing.

Other Links for Your Free Time:
The Mountain Gazette-
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance-
WildEarth Guardians-
Moab Times-Independent

Links by City:

- (See our Moab web page for more information on the city and surrounding area.) Well, the center of it all. One of many "official" websites for the town. Stop at the visitor's center (located at Main and Center streets) in the middle of town to get all of your questions answered. There are just too many options for food and coffee here, but our favorites are Wicked Brew- drive thru coffee- about 2 blocks north of the visitor's center on the same side (at 132 North Main St.). For a sit down coffee shop try the Red Rock Bakery and Cafe on Main street in the center of the block across from the visitor's center. East of the visitor's center a couple of blocks is the Moab Library. There is free internet here, and there are computers in case you need one. See Back of Beyond just down the street to the west in case you need somethign to read.

The Moab Brewery is on the right heading south- go through the main part of town just past the turn for the theatre. A few doors south of the brewery is Paradox Pizza for when you are in need of a quick, really good slice or two.

Coyote Shuttle
offers tours and land shuttles to various locations around Moab for your hikes, rides or floats. We used them for a shuttle up to Dewey Bridge for a two day float of the Colorado River.

Tag-A-Long Expeditions
offers river shuttles to guided trips all around southern Utah.
Also in Moab offering much of the same is Tex's Riverways.

Monticello- the first city south of Moab on Highway 191.

Peace Tree coffee shop is on your left as you enter town at 516 North Main- good coffee here (this link is to their Moab restaurant). As of October, 2016, they no longer have wireless for customers- very unfortunate for travelers.

There is a BLM office on highway 191, at 365 North Main, just across from the coffee shop. They are open during the week, from 8 to 5 or so.

Just down the road, across from the Shell station is the Monticello Public Library which has free wireless access- closed Sunday. Behind the library is asmall park. Just behind the Shell station across the street is Blue Mountain Foods, the local grocery store. They are closed on Sunday.

There is the Southeast Utah Welcome Center on your right, at 216 South Main, near the south end of town. They have a public computer here and can answer questions. When they are open, you can get water from their mop sink in the back of the main office. They have let me fill my 5 gallon cans on numerous occasions. They sell guide books and maps as well.

If the welcome center is closed, I have filled water across the street, behind the San Juan County Justice Center at 297 South Main. There is a hydrant at the back of the parking lot right at the covered picnic tables.

Other servies and businesses can be found throughout the city- a Napa, Ace Hardware, tire shop, banks, drug store, and various restaurants.           

Blanding- below Monticello- on the way to Bluff and Cedar Mesa. There is a visitor's center here with internet access, covered picnic tables, a playground, and a hydrant to fill water cans.They have guide books and maps for sale, and are very helpful with suggestions if you do not have definite plans. It is in the center of town on the left (they do lock the water hydrant at times- there are other hydrants in town- in the parking lot of the Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum and in the park on the south end of town).

Unfortunately, there are no coffee shops in Blanding. But you can get a good espresso at Hunt's Trading Post, at 146 East center Street, just past the Visitor's Center.

Another couple of blocks takes you to the Canyon Country A&W / gas station. Turning left at the four way stop you will be heading out of town, towards Bluff. You will pass a park on your right, Clarks Market which is closed on Sunday, and a Shell gas station.

We often venture into Blanding for supplies- gas, water, food and propane. On the south end of town, at 1261 South Main, is JC Hunt and further south is Amerigas, at 1833 South Main. We have used both for propane refills. Neither business is open on weekends- Saturday or Sunday, so plan accordinlgy.

Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum- Located in Blanding, it is worth a visit-
located at 660 West 400 North, Blanding, Utah 84511-0788. PH. (435) 678-2238.

The Blanding Public Library, at 300 South Main, has free wireless internet. Their hours ar Monday through Friday 11 am to 7 pm, Saturday 11 am to 3 pm, closed on Sunday.

On the south end of town is Centennial Park with ball fields, playground, picnic area, restrooms (during the summer) and water hydrants. The town pool is also part of the complex. The pool does not have showers.

Bluff- further on down 191 heading south. Access to the San Juan river is found here.
Sand Island campground is just west of Bluff. It is also the put-in for the San Juan river. There is a water hydrant near the entrance to the camping loops.
Comb Ridge Coffee used to be our favorite stop in Bluff when they were a coffee shop. Now they are a fine dining restaurant, no longer the coffee shop and gathering place they once were. They still have good coffee to go though, and of course good food. You will find them right on highway 191 as you pass through town.

For an American style, sit down breakfast head east through town towards the Twin Rocks Cafe. Here you will find eggs, hash browns, pancakes, omelets, and biscuits and gravy.

A couple of blocks from Twin Roks, just around the curve as you enter town, is Bluff Post Office.

In the center of Bluff is the gas station and store- the K&C Store. The phones here- yes, telephones that take coins- accept some of the phone calling cards they sell inside, but not all of them. A better option might be quarters for a quick call- one dollar gets you 10 minutes in the U.S. There is a water hydrant in front of the store wher eyou can fill cans if it is unlocked.

There are a couple of outfitters in town, and a number of car shuttle services- ask at the store or at the hotel next door to the K&C Store.
For day floats on the San Juan River and other adventures visit Wild Rivers Expeditions. They are at 2625 Us Highway 191- on your left just as you come through Cow Canyon on your drive down from Blanding and White Mesa. Their phone number is 435.678.2628.

Be sure to take a look at the Bluff Great House, up on the hill near the cemetery.

Mexican Hat- On highway 163 to the south of Bluff. This is a takeout for the San Juan if you do the short version of the float. Do not park at the BLM takeout, use Valles RV Park up on the highway. They will charge a small fee, $2.00 per day, but your vehicle will be safe. If you are looking for breakfast try the Olde Bridge Grille, at the San Juan Inn, which is right at the bridge crossing over the river. I have had a few good cups of coffee there, sitting right over the San Juan River.

Green River, Utah- The town of Green River is on Interstate 70. It is a stopping point along the highway, and a put in for floating the Green River. There are two options for putting in right in town. The most common is to drive to the boat ramp at the Green River State Park. Just follow the signs down to the river. There is an entry fee of a few dollars but the ramp is clean, easy to work on, and there are bathrooms and water nearby. The other option is to put in just above the river bridge on the west side right near the museum.

If you have an interest in John Wesley Powell, be sure to visit the John Wesley Powell River History Museum on the east side of town. There is a park with shade, tables and toilets right in the center of town. The Green River Coffee Company is another block or so west on the north side, at 25 East Main Street. You might be able to get a decent cup of coffee here. They do have wireless internet. There is a small grocery store- the Melon Vine Food Store near the west end of town, at Broadway and 150 West. There is a new coffee shop right on the corner of Broadway and 150 West, replacing one that was at the same location a few years back. They serve Illy coffee.

Hanksville- The town of Hanksville is located at the intersection of State Route 24 and State Route 95, and is about 40 miles south of Interstate 70 and Green River town. The BLM office is found at 406 South 100 West. Heading west on SR 24 from the intersection of SR 95 and SR 24, you will see a sign pointing towards their office. Their phone number is 435-542-3461. They can provide information on the Dirty Devil River, the Henry Mountains, and the local area. They sell topographic maps and have some guide books. They have a big parking area for long term parking if you desire, toilets, trash cans and water. Be sure to stop in and talk to them as they have a very helpful staff and can provide information on roads, rivers, weather and flora and fauna. Their hours are Monday through Friday, 0745 to 1630, closing for lunch from 1200 to 1245.

On SR 24 you will find the one local grocery store, Bull Mountain Market, and a couple of restaurants. Back on SR 95 heading south, you will find the Hollow Mountain gas station and convenience store, blasted right into a sandstone hill. Hollow Mountain has the typical long distance pay phones that give you 8 minutes for one dollar. Next to it is Blondie's restaurant. Further south is the Chevron gas station.
Caineville- Located west of Hanksville on Highway 24, there is not really too much to Caineville. But if you are heading through early enough in the day you might stop at the Mesa Farmers Market- they are a certified organic farm. It's a small, purple building under a cottonwood tree. There you might find fresh, organic peaches if the season is right. They also make and sell their own chevre (the goats are out back), and fresh bread, among other things. They have great coffee and it's a nice place to take a break and look at the Mancos shale buttes that characterise the geology of the area.
Escalante- The town of Escalante, along with the town of Boulder about 30 miles north, is one of the starting points for treks in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. There are a number of gas stations/convenience stores in the town, with the Phillips 66 gas station in the town's center having a hose bib to fill water cans. But it may be turned off inside the station. Another water point is the town park located around the corner at 100 North and Center Streets. There you will find shaded tables and bathrooms as well. The Pioneer Information Center is across the street form the Phillips 66. They can provide you with local information and history. The Interagency Visitor's Center is located at the west end of town. There you can find out about weather, road, and trail conditions for hikes in the monument. There are a number of small cafe's as you head through town on Main Street (Highway 12). You can find coffee and food at a number of them including Escalante Outfitters, at 39 West Main Street. Griffin Grocery is at 30 West Main Street and is the only grocery store in town. Between Boulder and Escalante is the Kiva Koffeehouse. They have great drinks, and It is worth the stop just to walk through the structure. They also offer nightly rentals. They are open from 0830 to 4.30 pm, and are closed Tuesdays.

Grand Junction, Colorado- Grand Junction is a stopping point for me on my trips to the desert. I usually take Exit 31- the Horizon Drive exit. There you have your choice of about 5 gas stations. If you exit to the north, going just a couple of blocks, there is a local coffee shop in a small strip mall on the west or left- Beans About Beans. They are open Monday through Friday 0630 to 1 PM, Saturday from 0700 to 12 noon. Further north, going left at the traffic circle, is the BLM Grand Junction office. There are undoubtedly local gear shops, but at this point I am not familiar with any of them. If you realise you have forgotten something important, there is an REI in Grand Junction. They are at 644 North Avenue, not too far off the highway (head south from Exit 31). Just under the highway overpass, to the south, behind the taco bell, is an information center. They can provide you with a map and directions to REI or other locations, including directions to the Colorado National Monument.

Fruita, Colorado- Fruita is the last town before the Kokopelli's Trailhead and Utah. At Exit 19 you will find the Colorado Welcome Center. It's just off the highway- look for the Huey helicopter at the Western Slope Viet Nam War Memorial Park. You can fill water cans in their parking lot. You can access the west entrance to the Colorado National Monument form this exit.

Durango, Colorado- I will start here with a link to a fine local coffee shop, right off the highway as you pass through town. Durango Joe's is a breath of fresh air in a strip mall full of corporate logos. You will find it as you head east out of town towards Pagosa Springs.

Green River, Wyoming- If you are this far north and traveling on Interstate 70, Green River deserves at least a quick stop. Here you will find "Expedition Island", the location where John Wesley Powell and his crew boarded their boats in 1869 for their first float down the Colorado. The town has a small museum filled with informative displays and information on the Powell float as well as the interesting history of the Green River area.
There is an information center on the west end of town that will provide a map to all the site, restaurants and coffee shops.

Friend's Links-
Two Hands Paperie- Art supplies, Rite In The Rain pads, and more for your journey.

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