It’s camping season again in Utah’s Canyon Country, and I’m really looking forward to a summer full of outdoor adventures with my family! We’ve already camped once this year, and we have another trip planned for next weekend, and all of this camping planning reminded me that I never posted about our final camping trip last year out on Hart Point Road. It was in late October, and it was by far the best camping trip of the summer! Definitely one of my favorite places we’ve ever camped… EVER!
We’ve always loved Hart Point Road, and if you’ve followed my blog you’re already familiar with this area- we watched an eclipse out there a few years ago, (LINK ) and we’ve driven out to watch the sunset after looking at some petroglyphs in Indian Creek, (LINK) but I’ve always felt, as I also feel about the Hamburger Rock area in Indian Creek- although it looks like an awesome place to camp, it’s kind of silly to camp less than an hour from home.
But actually, as I’m typing this I’m realizing that we’ve actually done a lot of this kind of camping now that we’ve been camping with our son. The first place we ever took him camping was at Devil’s Canyon Campground which is only about 13 miles south of Monticello. (That one was intentionally close to home just in case things went terribly wrong and we needed to drive home in the middle of the night!)
But last fall my in-laws were driving up from Flagstaff to spend a couple days in the area and they were wanting to camp and preferably not in a campground, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to camp out there and show them this amazing overlook!
Sure enough, when we pulled up at the spot, which is really just kind of an overlook at the end of a short spur road off of the main road, my in-laws were pretty blown away by the view. It’s amazing out there. I always say that it’s my favorite place in San Juan County, but I’m still kind of in awe of the view every time we pull up out there.
Again, just like with the Arch Canyon Overlook, this is a place with a huge drop-off. And again, just like with the Arch Canyon Overlook, it was a little bit stressful at times to be out there with my 3.5 year old son. But as I mentioned before, I’ve decided that I’m not going to limit the things our family does just because I’m scared or worried about things like that. Instead, we just have to watch him like a hawk and be as careful as we possibly can.
With all that being said, I really wouldn’t recommend this camping spot to other people with small children. In our case, we had one child and 4 adults and we kind of took turns watching him, but I think it would be a total nightmare to be out there with multiple children- definitely not a relaxing camping trip! I wouldn’t ever recommend taking that chance.
Aside from my concerns about the huge drop-off, my son seemed to love this spot! All you have to do to keep a 3.5 year old boy entertained is give them some trucks & dirt and some rocks to throw, and someplace to throw them off of, and that will keep them busy for hours! At least, that’s all it takes to keep my son busy! He had so much fun throwing rocks off the edge. I have to admit though- watching him do this probably took at least a year off my life- let’s just say that Grandma is much more relaxed about huge cliffs than I am!
When my son stepped away from the edge for a minute or two, and my blood pressure was able to return to normal, it was a really peaceful spot! There’s a fire ring set up right near the edge of the cliff and we got a fire going, made dinner, and sat there and enjoyed the view out over Indian Creek, the stars, and the silence. It’s really an amazing place!
We had just got a new camera a day or two before our camping trip, and I don’t know about all cameras these days, but this one didn’t even come with a manual, you have to go online if you want to read it- and it’s long! So the only thing we had time to read was how to do night shots, which I tested out quite a bit. It was a great location for it, but I’m sure I didn’t read enough of the manual to do the camera justice as far as its capabilities go! Now that it’s camping season again, I’ll have to be sure to read up so I’ll be prepared next time we head out!
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we’ve already gone camping once this year and it was our best trip yet with our son, as far as sleeping goes! The first time we took him camping he woke up at about 4:00am and didn’t go back to sleep, but his sleep has gotten a little better on each camping trip we’ve gone on since, and this last time a couple weeks ago he slept until 8:00am! He doesn’t even do that at home! It gave me great hope that the day after camping trips might no longer equal a miserable day with a moody kid! I think we might be ready to try camping for multiple nights now… I’ll be sure to blog about it if/when we do, so be sure to check back!
From Monticello: Head north on Hwy 191 approx. 14 miles to the turn for the Needles District of Canyonlands. Turn left onto Hwy 211 and drive approximately 10 miles until you have just passed the turn for the Hart’s Draw Road (Also called Co. Rd 101 and Forest Rd 105) leading to Monticello on your left. The Hart Point Rd is the next road coming in from the right- it’s an unpaved road, but does not require high clearance or 4-wheel drive.
*Alternate Route- Via Hart’s Draw Road from Monticello:
From Main St. (Hwy 191) in Monticello, turn west on 200 S right next to the Welcome Center. You will pass through about 4 blocks of houses, then this road becomes Co. Rd 101/Forest Rd 105. Continue on this road for about 18 miles until it ends where it meets Hwy 211. Turn left onto Hwy 211, and the Hart Point Road will be an immediate right.
From Moab: Head south on 191 approx. 40 miles to the turn for the Needles District of Canyonlands. Turn right onto Hwy 211 and drive approximately 10 miles until you have just passed the turn for the Hart’s Draw Road (Also called Co. Rd 101 and Forest Rd 105) leading to Monticello on your left. The Hart Point Rd is the next road coming in from the right- it’s an unpaved road, but does not require high clearance or 4-wheel drive.
Distance to lodging in San Juan County, Utah:
- Monticello: 23 miles/37 km
- La Sal: 35 miles/56 km
- Blanding: 45 miles/72 km
- Bluff: 71 miles/114 km
- Mexican Hat: 97 miles/156 km
- Monument Valley: 122 miles/196 km
For more information or to request travel brochures, please call Utah’s Canyon Country at: 800-574-4386
Or e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org