Utah Canyon Country

April 2008

Road Canyon and Cedar Mesa, Utah

Southeastern Utah is a gift for us all.  The area has everything an adventurer could ask for: Hiking, climbing, canyoneering, kayaking, mountain biking, and driving Jeep roads.  The terrain varies from snow-capped mountains, deep canyons, cedar forests, arid deserts, and miles of bedrock.  On this trip, we chose to explore the canyon country of Cedar Mesa and the Comb Ridge, learn about ancient Native American culture, and drive a few Jeep roads.  We spent over a week doing just that and we barely scratched the surface of the this wonderful area.

We begin a steep 1000-foot descent into Road Canyon.  Our plan was to hike about 10 miles and visit several ancient Native American ruins.

Alan hikes with Scout near the bottom of the canyon.

While hiking along the bottom, we encountered a faint trail, but mostly followed the
creek which Scout loved to play in.

Having lunch at our final destination..Seven Kivas ruin at the bottom of Road Canyon.

While ascending to the canyon rim, some minor scrambling is required.

Jackie and friend, Lee, hike over the bedrock of Comb Ridge while searching for cliff dwellings.  The Blue Mountains near Monticello are in the background.

Scrambling on the east side of Butler Wash road with the Comb Ridge in the background.

After searching, we found the spectacular Monarch ruins (we think).

A panoramic of Monarch ruins.

An example of the ruins in Monarch cave.

Ancient pictographs of handprints may indicate a family who once lived there.

We climbed the canyon looking for other ruins.  The edge of Monarch ruins can be seen to the far right.

Scoutie heads back to the Jeep after a day of hiking.

Later in the week, we enjoyed driving on the Jeep road to Hotel Rock near Arch Canyon.
Believe it or not, this is a county road...San Juan County Road #205.

On top of Hotel Rock near Arch Canyon.

Take some time and visit this special area of Utah.  BTW: Don't forget the Lamplight Restaurant in Monticello.  Tell the owner, Scott Laws, that we said hello.

© www.JackieandAlan.com