The Southwest Loves Families of Every Kind

A collage of people, artists, family and art from Twin Rocks Trading Post.

Twin Rocks Loves Families of Every Sort.

At Twin Rocks we admit it, and happily so — we love families of every sort.

Grandparents and kids, people who come together to make a business, brothers and sisters, kids, families of baskets and rugs, families enjoying food, families of dogs and their humans, families of ant hills, families of every sort of creation and creature that love each other.

Love comes in all kinds of packages, and it’s a good thing to spread around.

We also remember to love the earth that nurtures us.  Because, when it comes right down to it, we are all related.

You are always welcome to our Twin Rocks family, whether you are thousands of miles away or sitting across the table.

Come Visit Bluff, the Edge of the Universe

Get out There and See the Country. (If you feel like it...)

Get out There and See the Country. (If you feel like it…)

If you’re looking for adventure, as well as an outrageously amazing culture, Twin Rocks can help you find that, too.  At Twin Rocks, we’re locals, and we have plenty of tips for you to enjoy Bluff, our home.  If you’re into it, our home offers any kind of backcountry adventure you can image.

Take off from Bluff to the west and discover the incomparable Cedar Mesa. Driving the exciting Mokey Dugway on Highway 261 or coming in from the north on Scenic Byway Highway 95, leads to some of the most beautiful canyons anywhere!

The trailheads for these canyons are accessed by dirt roads, and some may require four-wheel-drive. Exploring the canyons can be as short as a day hike or, for the more adventurous, provides opportunities of up to a week or more of hiking through spectacular scenery while investigating Ancestral Puebloan ruins from a culture of a thousand years ago.

Some of the canyons offer arches and bridges carved by millions of years of erosion and slickrock trails for smooth walking. There are many dramatically different canyons offering opportunities for return visits to see them all.

And, there is the glorious San Juan River.  It is one of the creators of the Grand Canyon.

A word of caution: The archaeological sites are VERY FRAGILE. Climbing and pulling on the walls is forbidden as is taking ANYTHING from the site including artifacts and other remains. Please take the time to learn about the Anasazi and the proper protocol for visiting these sites.

Explore

Surrounding Bluff are still more canyons and mesa-tops to explore. These areas can be easy day hikes from roads just outside of town and offer more rock art panels, ruins and just great views of the amazing desert landscape. Explore on bicycles or motorcycles.

Drive throughout the Four Corners region and visit the sites that bring the world to Bluff.  Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods, Natural Bridges, Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands and Hovenweep are just a few of the National Parks, Monuments, Navajo Tribal Parks and State Parks that attract visitors.  Experience serenity, beauty and natural wonder.

The photographer, budding archaeologist or sightseer will enjoy the landscape of the entire region.

One of Bluff’s most popular spots is the BLM Sand Island Camping Area. It is the put-in for the famous San Juan River trips in the region. Even if not taking off on a river trip, be sure to stop and see some of the most telling examples of rock art. From ancient times, many cultures have left their mark and told their stories on the painted walls along the San Juan corridor. Then spend one day, or many, traveling the river known for the steepest gradient in North America!

A fast moving river without technical whitewater, it is a challenging trip with opportunities to view layers of geological formations and to visit fascinating rock art and ruins on short hikes along the way. Whether traveling all 84 miles to Clay Hills take-out for a multi-day trip or just doing the 26 miles to Mexican hat – in one day or a few – the San Juan features a trip that is enjoyable for the entire family. From senior citizens to kids with water-fight buckets, everyone enjoys trips through the scenic canyons of the San Juan.

Adventure

Mountain bike enthusiasts will find a pleasant diversion from slickrock trails here in Bluff. There are many dirt roads taking off just outside of town that lead to wonderful views, interesting archaeology and just great rides.

Only 25 miles north of Bluff are the Abajo Mountains offering a cool break for the summer visitor and even backcountry skiing in the winter. The 10,000 feet of elevation there showcases lakes for fishing and easy access by paved and unpaved roads for spectacular vistas and shady picnics.

Come visit Twin Rocks, and then explore our home!

Bluff is a Feeling

Bluff, UTah is a feeling of peace and harmony.

Bluff is a Feeling

People often say that “Bluff is a feeling.”

Perhaps it’s the friendly, small-town feeling.

Maybe it’s the way you’re transported when you see the nearby petroglyphs, and you imagine how people lived here over a 1,000 years ago.

It might be the serenity and calm you sense when you discover the Milky Way on a clear night, the sky more brilliantly lit with stars than you, perhaps, have ever seen it.   Or the freedom you experience as you take in the magnificent panorama of the nearby Muley Point overlook.

The Navajo word, “Hozho”, may explain it best.   Hozho is the most important word in the Navajo language.  It means peace, balance, beauty and harmony.  To be “in Hozho” is to be at one with, and a part of, the world around you.

Consideration of the nature of the universe, the world, man, the nature of time and space, creation, growth, motion, order, control, and the life cycle, all expressed in terms quite impossible to translate into English.

We hope you feel this connection and come to discover Hozho when you visit Bluff.

The Passion of Southwest Turquoise

Twin Rocks Trading Post offers the finest in American classic turquoise jewelry

New Burnham Turquoise Bracelet set in a Timeless Design.

Gem quality turquoise used in Native American jewelry is a special passion for us here at Twin Rocks Trading Post.  We search far and wide for the best in natural Southwest American turquoise as well as fine quality specimens of Persian and Chinese turquoise.

Turquoise is identified by the mine it comes from. Twin Rocks’ wide selection of classic American turquoise includes Bisbee, Blue Diamond, Blue Gem, Burnham, Carico Lake, Cripple Creek, Damele, Fox, Kingman, Lone Mountain, Morenci, Number 8, Pilot Mountain, Red Mountain, Royston, Sleeping Beauty, Stenech and Turquoise Mountain.

And, we believe in placing turquoise within classic southwestern jewelry settings.  We work with the best Native Southwest silversmiths and goldsmiths, including Will Denetdale, John Begay Jr., John Yazzie, and Eugene Livingston. We love to see their blasts into the past and their experiments that pull us into the future.  (We also work with outstanding turquoise bead artists Ray Lovato, John Huntress, Bruce Eckhardt and Kai Gallagher.)  Our goal is to offer true Native American turquoise craftsmanship in individually designed jewelry treasures.

If you are looking for unique, high-quality turquoise bracelets, earrings, rings, pendants, necklaces and other beautiful objects crafted in sterling silver and 14k gold, look no further. You will not find a better selection anywhere in the Southwest — that is our promise and our guarantee to you.

While exploring the Southwest, seek out one of the best-kept secrets in the United States: Bluff, UT, and Twin Rocks Trading Post and Gallery. For decades we have built loyal clients, and we all benefit from our strong relationships with local artists.

When you visit, stop by the cafe and put your feet up.  Enjoy the Bluffs. Talk to the locals.  Then come down to the Trading Post and Gallery. Feel the passion of the turquoise, and the love that goes into creating one of the finest collections of Native American arts and crafts.

It’s all about the beauty!

Bluff is the Center of Hillerman Country

Writer Tony Hillerman used Bluff as a setting in his book, Thief of Time

Writer Tony Hillerman used Bluff as a setting in his book, Thief of Time

Tony Hillerman loved the four corners area, and we’re proud that this gracious and artistic man graced Bluff with his presence while researching A Thief of Time.

As always, Tony’s books are filled with Navajo lore, and they are spell-binding. At a moonlit Indian ruin—-where “thieves of time” ravage sacred ground in the name of profit—-a noted anthropologist vanishes while on the verge of making a startling, history-altering discovery. At an ancient burial site, amid stolen goods and desecrated bones, two corpses are discovered, shot by bullets fitting the gun of the missing scientist.

Modern mysteries abound in ancient places, and Navajo Tribal Policemen Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee must plunge into the past to unearth the astonishing truth behind a mystifying series of horrific murders.

Tony Hillerman was the former president of the Mystery Writers of America and received its Edgar® and Grand Master awards. His other honors include the Center for the American Indian’s Ambassador Award, the Silver Spur Award for the best novel set in the West, and the Navajo Tribe’s Special Friend Award. He lived with his family in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

When you are in Hillerman Country, stop by our Twin Rocks Cafe.  Pick up one of Tony’s books.  Where better to read about the heart of Tony’s settings than in Bluff, sitting on our porch, watching the magic roll over the mesas…

The Heart of the Southwest

Twin Rocks in the the center of all there is to see in the heart of the Southwestern US

All roads lead to Twin Rocks, in amazing Bluff, UT

Why come and visit us at Twin RocksEasy.  You’ll have a great time that is completely unique.

The Twin Rocks Trading Post sits just beneath the Navajo Twins geologic formation in the historic pioneer town of Bluff, Utah. Barry and Steve Simpson, local boys, share their passion for cultural tradition and artistic innovation with both artists and visiting collectors.

Open minds and imagination have resulted in a Navajo basketry renaissance. You’ll also discover one of the finest contemporary Native American turquoise jewelry collections in the world. (No kidding!) And, the Twin Rocks Modern Navajo rug is the first Navajo weaving design innovation in decades.

Pop in.  There’s always a lively conversation going on about the west of old, contemporary Indian art, and travel exploits.  (Tell us yours!)

This is our home. If you have any questions about the Four Corners regional culture and landscape, feel free to ask us.  If we don’t know, we’ll point you in the right direction. When you visit us in Bluff, we promise you a top-notch experience in Native American art and hospitality.

Our friendly team is happy to give you an authentic experience that is comfortable, informative and fun. Like many people we have met over the years, we hope you come through our front door as customers and leave as life-long friends. And, you can always give us a buzz at 1-800-526-3448.

Welcome to our part of the planet, friends. Life will never look quite the same way again.

Two Navajo Artists Find Grace in their Folk Art

Navajo carfts, and carvings, teach us about the old gods, the animals spirits and the place they hold in our lives.

Marvin Jin and Grace Begay, Navajo Artists, Find Grace and Fun

Based upon the Navajo Creation Tales, the extraordinary and unique sculptures of Marvin Jim reflect a time long ago, when animals and humans walked and worked together to create this new world.Traditional Navajo stories speak of conversations among all beings, of behaving in a manner of mutual respect, and of all beings having an equal position in the community. These legends are an essential part of the Navajo culture.

The tales are of universal interaction, compassion and tolerance — all the things necessary to live a balanced existence.

The animals played prominate roles in these myths. For example, Coyote is often portrayed delivering fire to humans, a selfish act initially, but one that proved selfless in the end. There was Turkey who kept his wits about him during the great flood. When everyone else grabbed  personal possessions, Turkey gathered life-giving seeds. These seeds made it possible for the people to survive.

The four great rams who dispersed the flood waters into a mirage world, making the earth livable are mentioned. Duck, who dove back into the troubled waters to fetch the forgotten medicine bag of First Man is also an important part of the stories. This act cost him his beautiful plumage, but gave rise to the sacred mountains which guard and protect the people.

Marvin has chosen to recreate these lessons through sculpture. Raised in the traditional Navajo way, this talented young artist, carves his “upright animals” to show that there was once, and will be again, a personal connection to the animal world.

There is a special grace and love in his work that make you feel happy.  Isn’t that a miraculous thing?