Free activities Museums Pioneers

Fort Bluff

IMG_1326
A new adventure called Fort Bluff has been rededicated within the last year (Oct 2013), and it is amazing. Bluff is just a wide spot in the middle of Highway 191 near the four corners area, but Fort Bluff is really fun. It is run by a group called the Hole in the Rock Foundation, and tells the story of Mormon Pioneers who founded Bluff. These pioneers traveled across some of the most rugged terrain in the United States to get from Cedar City to Bluff. They made the famous “Hole in the Wall” trek that dropped their wagons off a vertical cliff through a narrow gap.
The actual Hole in the Rock is many miles west near the town of Escalante. This picture is from the National Park Service Website.

The actual Hole in the Rock is many miles west near the town of Escalante.
This picture is from the National Park Service Website.

Yup. The Pioneers dropped their wagons down that gap. Most amazing of all, no one died on the trek across Utah, and two babies were born during the 5 month trek, so the net population of the wagon train ended up +2.
Anyway, Fort Bluff has a great video of this event. If you’re like us, you’ll watch it with your mouth hanging wide open. But besides the story there is a lot of fun at Fort Bluff.
Before the movie, they have these talking pictures which are hilarious.

Before the movie, they have these talking pictures which are hilarious.

The “camp” is arranged like an old town with 10 or 12 cabins. Each cabin has a button to push that tells the story of a pioneer from this area from actual source documents of the time. There is also a blacksmith shop, a church meeting house, and a Relief Society Hall where the women met. A large barn serves as a gift shop and welcome center. There are other buildings, handcarts, wagons, and some unique photo opportunities. The helpful volunteers dressed us up in pioneer clothing and loaded us up in a wagon. Later, the boys dressed as cowboys for another picture. We had so much fun we spent over 2 hours at Fort Bluff. Our kids loved it, and we learned a lot about the fortitude and tenacity of the first white settlers of this area.
Here is one of the original wagons that traveled down Hole in the Rock.

Here is one of the original wagons that traveled down Hole in the Rock.

There are a lot of fun things for the kids, like this tepee.

There are a lot of fun things for the kids, like this tepee. 

An old meeting house (replica)

An old meeting house (replica)

The kids dressed up like cowboys and rode these horses.

The kids dressed up like cowboys and rode these horses.

It is set up how it would have looked 150 years ago.

It is set up how it would have looked 150 years ago.

This is the one original cabin and well left standing. The others cabins at Fort Bluff are restored.

This is the one original cabin and well left standing.
The others cabins at Fort Bluff are restored.

It was such a fun environment. Everyone was friendly and we learned so much.

It was such a fun environment. Everyone was friendly and we learned so much.

 We had fun drawing on old slates in the school house.

We had fun drawing on old slates in the school house.

here are tons of pioneer clothes for everyone in your family to wear for a great family photo.

here are tons of pioneer clothes for everyone
in your family to wear for a great family photo.