Monticello, the seat of San Juan County, is a mostly Mormon community. This quiet town has seen some growth in recent years, mostly in the form of new motels made necessary by a steady stream of tourists venturing south from Moab, but it still offers very few dining or shopping opportunities. Nevertheless, with several inexpensive lodging choices, it's a more convenient alternative to Moab for those visiting the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. At 7,000 feet, Monticello provides a cool respite from the summer heat of the desert, and it's at the doorstep of the Abajo Mountains. To access the highest point in the range, 11,360-foot Abajo Peak, take a road that branches off the graded, 22-mi Blue Mountain Loop (Forest Service Road 105, which begins in Monticello).