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Exploring:  Book Cliffs

The Book Cliffs are one of the fewest used spots in Utah.  During a recent trip through the area I spotted two cars in 110 miles of driving.  This area features an amazing array of scenic opportunities. 

During the hunting seasons the usage rises, this is one of the premier hunting regions in Utah.  Plenty of deer, antelope, elk and other animals frequent the area.  During our last visit there a large hawk leapfrogged ahead of us for about a half mile, seemingly leading us down the trail.


Location

This BLM controlled land is located South of Vernal.  From Salt Lake Cibookcliffs001.jpg (92133 bytes)ty drive East I-80 over Parley’s pass to highway 40.  Continue on 40 to Vernal, drive through Vernal (being sure to fill up the gas tank).  Follow the signs on the Eastern edge of town towards Bonanza.  Shortly after Bonanza the road turns to dirt. bookcliffs002.jpg (46550 bytes)

If you plan on heading North from I-70 to highway 40 get off on either exits 220 or 225. This way is a bit steeper, the terrain rises quickly in a series of switchbacks up to the rim of the Books.  

 

About the Area

The Book Cliffs provide scenery ranging from the red rock often seen in Southern Utah to the usual green color of the Northern Alpine regions. The altitude ranges from around 8000 feet to 4500 feet, the differing altitude providing a variety of colors and smells.

bookcliffs003.jpg (64231 bytes)

The effects of forest fires are evident on a large portion of the area, already new life is struggling to replace the damaged forest.  

If you plan on traversing the area from North to South or South to North be sure and have a map and compass.  This is a confusing area with mining or oilbookcliffs004.jpg (64873 bytes) exploration roads leading helter skelter.  There are a few BLM campsites scattered about, most of these provide fire grates and a place to tie a horse up.  Please attempt to find these sites, forgo building another “new” campsite. bookcliffs005.jpg (46980 bytes)

 

Several old homesteads are easily found, I can only imagine the hardships these people faced.

I’m going to refrain from posting any detailed information.  I feel this is an area best explored without previous knowledge, go have your own adventure.  

Nearby Areas:

Dinosaur

Nine Mile Canyon

Resources


Shopping


Books

cover   Utah Atlas and Gazetteer
by DeLorme (Editor)

Book Description
Rely on the Utah Atlas & Gazetteer for the utmost in trip planning and 
backcountry access. Contains topographic maps with unbeatable 
detail, plus gazetteer information on great places to go and things to do. 
Scale equals 1:250,000 or 1"=4 miles. Contour Interval is 300'. Each 
page covers 37 miles... Read more

Utah's National Parks: Hiking, Camping, and Vacationing in Utah's Canyon Country: Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands

Utah Camping: The Complete Guide to more than 400 Campgrounds (Foghorn Outdoors)

Camping Utah (Camping)

Utah Camping Guide : The essential handbook for ...

Backcountry Adventures: Utah: The Ultimate Guide to the Utah Backcountry for Anyone With a Sport Utility Vehicle

Backcountry Moab - Where The Tours Don't Go

Exploring Canyonlands and Arches National Parks 

Hiking and Exploring Utah's San Rafael Swell

Utah Underground: Guide to Real Fun

Travel Smart: Utah

Hidden Salt Lake City and Beyond: Including Park City, Deer Valley, Alta and Snowbird

 Get the 2005 Trailer Life Directory for 50% off the cover!

 

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