History of San Juan County, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)

Area: 7,725 square miles; population: 12,621 (1990); county seat: Monticello; origin of county name: after the San Juan River; principal cities/towns: Blanding (3,162), Monticello (1,806), Bluff (250); economy: livestock, agriculture, mining, tourism; points of interest: Natural Bridges, *Rainbow Bridge, and Hovenweep national monuments, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Canyonlands National Park, Edge of the Cedars State Park in Blanding, St. Christopher's Episcopal Indian Mission in Bluff, Navajo Indian Reservation.

San Juan County is a part of the Colorado Plateau, a geologic region formed mostly of sandstone and limestone that includes two-thirds of the state of Utah as well as parts of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Mighty rivers like the Colorado and the San Juan have carved deep canyons and unusual erosional forms through the colorful sedimentary rock, and many people find the area to be spectacularly beautiful on a grand scale.

In prehistoric times, the San Juan country was the home of the Anasazi, whose cliff houses, pictographs, and petroglyphs have baffled and fascinated visitors to the country since their disappearance shortly after A.D. 1300. The Basketmakers, the earliest phase of the Anasazi Culture, were first identified and studied in Grand Gulch. The Navajo Indians, who were perhaps a cause of the disappearance of the Anasazi, now occupy a large part of San Juan County--from the San Juan River to the Arizona border.

Although there were a few white residents along the San Juan River before 1879, the Mormon scouts who planned the famous Hole-in-the-Rock Trail that year began the full-scale settlement of San Juan County. The 230 pioneers who left Escalante in the fall of that year arrived at the present site of Bluff on 6 April 1880.

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