Bluff, settled in 1880, is one of southeastern Utah's oldest towns. Mormon pioneers built a ranching empire that made the town at one time the richest per capita in the state. Although this early period of affluence has passed, several historic Victorian-style homes remain, and can be seen on a short walking tour of the town. Pick up the free brochure "Historic Bluff by Bicycle and on Foot" at any business in town, and then take a walk through the era it describes. Most of the original homes from the 1880 town-site of Bluff City are part of the Bluff Historic District. In a dozen or so blocks are 42 historic structures, most built between about 1890 and 1905. On a windswept hill above town, gravestones bear the names of many of the town's first families.
Modern-day Bluff is a tiny but unexpectedly interesting town with a big personality. Like Moab, it doesn’t have a palpable Mormon feel, and it remains a mini melting pot of Navajos, river rats, hippies, and old-time Utahns. It’s a nice place to relax for a while—and to check out what it might be like living in the middle of nowhere.