On our way back from the Needles Overlook I saw what I took to be some small buildings at the base of a large rock formation. We were some distance from it and so it was hard to be sure, but I set my camera on 10x zoom and took a couple of photos.
When I got a close look at the photos the next day, I was surprised by both the number and the size of the houses.
There’s actually an entire suburban community somewhat hidden at the base of the rock formation. You can only see this from the road to Needles Overlook, since the community is on the backside of the rock formation when viewed from route 191, and there’s only a dirt road leading to it.
I got curious and located it on satellite images from Google Maps, and the community is even bigger than it first appeared.
On our way back up route 191 to Moab I looked for power lines heading towards it, but didn’t see any, nor were there any signs indicating a community was there. Given the number of solar panels it looks like it’s completely off the grid, with its own water source and even what look like a sewage treatment plan.
I have no idea who lives here, but given the size of the houses and the amount of infrastructure, it certainly isn’t hippies. Rich survivalists or just an off-the-grid vacation community? If you’re curious about it, you can get a closer look on Google Maps.