Travel Curious

For independent travelers who want to dig deeper

Recapture Pocket

This is a little-known but interesting location, the interestingly named “Recapture Pocket” which is just a few minutes east of Bluff, that is full of goblins and hoodoos slightly reminiscent of Goblin Valley State Park.

Recapture Pocket near Bluff Utah


There are three main groups of formations relatively close to each other. Half the fun is exploring the area to see what you can find. I asked more than one local what the name referred to, but so far I didn’t have any luck finding anyone who knew.


  • Approaching sunset the hoodoo areas are in shadow early because of the buttes directly to the west of the area that is going to block the sun, get there a couple of hours before sunset. Sunrise shouldn’t have any issues. 
  • Dogs okay
Getting  there
  • From Bluff, take UT-162 east for 4.9 miles and turn left on an unmarked gravel road ( 37.298293, -109.465708 ).
  • Drive 1 mile and make a left (west) at the junction with (Trading post road) Country Road 217 ( 37.311256, -109.461199 ).
  • Continue 0.5 miles and take the next right (north) onto unmarked Bluff Bench Road for 0.8 miles and continue left at the fork, continuing 0.3 miles to reach the first group of formations.
  • The second group is located another 0.3 miles further.
  • To reach the third group, return to the fork and take it left (north) for 0.9 miles and turn right just past the slickrock patch and storage tanks for another 0.3 miles.


The interesting rock formations of the Recapture Pocket

Some of the taller stacked rock formations

One of the larger formations

Last light on the Recapture Pocket are near Bluff Utah

Explore Nearby...


House on Fire Ruin

House on Fire Ruins in Mule Canyon South Fork

There are many ruins in the canyon, but House on Fire ruin is the most famous of them, getting its name from the effects that the sunlight has on the sandstone cliff of the overhang that it is built under

Road Canyon Fallen Roof Ruin 2

Fallen Roof Ruin in Road Canyon

Road Canyon contains many ruins, granaries, and kivas. “Fallen Roof Ruin” derives its name from the elaborate pattern created by the missing sandstone slabs of rock that fell out of the roof of the alcove in front of it.

Butler Wash Ruins 4

Butler Wash Ruins

Choose to view the ruins from an overlook or hike up the wash and explore the ruins close up

Lower Butler Wash Road - Hikes

Lower Butler Wash Road is a unique area of Comb Ridge, home to a dozen unmarked trailheads not published by the BLM or marked with signs. All are short hikes (1-3 miles round trip) that lead to amazing ancestral sites, caves and alcoves with 800-year-old ruins, petroglyphs, pottery shards and more.
Multi-colored hand prints on the back wall

Double Stack Ruin

See a higher and lower set of ruins with painted handprints, metates, rockart and impressive mud mortared rock walled structures still standing

Lower Butler Wash road monarch cave 3

Monarch Cave

Hidden up a side canyon of Comb Ridge is an impressive ruin complex with petroglyphs, pottery sherds, corn cobs, sharpening grooves, and grinding metates.

Butler Wash road wolfman rockart 13

Wolfman Panel

Hike to see multiple rock art panels with one with a unique wolfman like figure, across the canyon are ruins you can continue to

Lower Butler Wash Road Fishmouth Cave 5

Fishmouth Cave

A short easy hike to a large cave with handprints and metates, there are a number of smaller ruins to see along the trail.

Lower Butler Wash Road Split Level Ruin 8

Split Level Ruin

The hike to a ruin split over two ledges is filled with hundreds of pictographs, large rocks covered in metates, sharpening marks, pottery shards, and painted handprints

Goosenecks State Park ...

Scenic Drives...

Recapture Pocket_ 4

Recapture Pocket

This is a little visited but interesting location full of goblins and hoodoos contained in three main groups of formations relatively close to each other

Everything Else...

Newspaper Rock 2

Newspaper Rock

A famous rock panel carved with about 650 individual petroglyphs of abstract shapes and symbols to more recognizable human and animal figures

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Buy Framed Prints

Images on this website are available as framed prints to support running the website
Browse Prints For Sale


Featured Posts