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Bluff, Utah
Incorporated town and municipality
Bluff, Utah (from east).jpg
Location in San Juan County and the state of Utah.
Location in San Juan County and the state of Utah.
Country United States
State Utah
County San Juan
Established AD 650
Founded April 6, 1880
Incorporated August 31, 2018
Founded by Silas S. Smith
Named for Bluffs (cliffs) along the San Juan River
 • Type Mayor-council government
 • Total 36.71 sq mi (95.08 km2)
 • Land 36.47 sq mi (94.45 km2)
 • Water 0.24 sq mi (0.63 km2)
4,324 ft (1,317 m)
 • Estimate 
 • Density 6.72/sq mi (2.59/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 435
FIPS code 49-06700
GNIS feature ID 1425842
Website footnotes =

Bluff is a town in San Juan County, Utah, United States. The population was 320 at the 2000 census. Bluff incorporated in 2018.


Bluff is located at 37°17′1″N 109°33′10″W / 37.28361°N 109.55278°W / 37.28361; -109.55278 (37.283696, -109.552871), in the scenic and very sparsely populated southeastern Utah canyonlands of the Colorado Plateau.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 22.6 square miles (58.7 km²), of which, 22.1 square miles (57.2 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.4 km²) of it (2.43%) is water.


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Bluff has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2019 245
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 320 people, 135 households, and 75 families residing in the town. The population density was 14.5 people per square mile (5.6/km2). There were 191 housing units at an average density of 8.6/sq mi (3.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 62.50% White, 35.00% Native American, 0.94% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.06% of the population.

There were 135 households, out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.4% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.4% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.25.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 25.9% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.3 males.

The Navajo Twin Rocks, an attraction in Bluff, November 2007

The median income for a household in the town was $23,906, and the median income for a family was $30,938. Males had a median income of $31,563 versus $14,792 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $13,567. About 22.8% of families and 21.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.7% of those under age 18 and 25.0% of those age 65 or over.


Under the direction of John Taylor, Silas S. Smith and Danish settler Jens Nielson led about 230 Mormons on expedition to start a farming community in southeastern Utah. After forging about 200 miles (320 kilometers) of their own trail over difficult terrain, the settlers arrived on the site of Bluff in April 1880. (The trail followed went over and down the "Hole In the Rock", which now opens into one of the tributaries of Lake Powell.) The town was named for the bluffs near the town site. The town’s population had declined to seventy by 1930 but rebounded during a uranium prospecting boom in the 1950s. With the uranium decline in the 1970s Bluff again declined and now remains a small town with about 300 residents.

Attractions and events

  • Winter Balloon Festival, January [1]
  • Bluff Arts Festival, October [2]
  • Utah Navajo Fair, September [3]
  • Navajo Twin Rocks


The San Juan School District operates Bluff Elementary School in Bluff.

Notable people

Images for kids

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