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Cedar Mesa

Canada
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Cedar Mesa

Forgive my ignorance on this question. I feel I've done a bit of research and I am going in circles a bit.

I'll be honest I stumbled across "something" under the heading of Cedar Mesa. A few pictures suggest its a smaller version of Mesa Verde. (In appearance only).

I'd like to learn more about what I am looking at. The history behind it, how to hike to it, but I admittedly don't know if I have the correct name.

I am a bit confused if Cedar Mesa speaks to a area or that specific site. I have seen the names both Mule Canyon Ruins and Grand Gulch Primitive area.

Again I'll be the first to admit I am naive on that, but I am trying to learn but getting a bit turned about. I am not sure if there are multiple sites, or perhaps I am just seeing different angles of pictures. If someone could clarify I would appreciate it.

I will be coming from Moab through National Bridges towards Mexican Hat(and ultimately Monument Valley) but I'm in no rush and have a chance to explore the area so trying to learn a little more about it.

Thanks for the help

10 replies to this topic
Eagle, Colorado
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1. Re: Cedar Mesa

Cedar mesa is a large mesa within the area now known as bears ears national monument. There are numerous ancestral pueblan sites that are as you say cliff dwellings like mesa verde but smaller. The area is much less developed than mesa verde with fewer people. Most of the ruins you have to hike to. Some short hikes some long and down into fairly rugged canyons. You need permits to hike in these areas. Some you can just pay your 2 bucks and fill out a form at the trail. Others like Moon House ruin are strictly capped every day. The grand gulch is full of many of these ruins. It is a long canyon that has many side canyons as access points. It is great for point to point multi day trips. Down one canyon down the grand gulch and out another canyon. Many trails are accessed via dirt roads of varying difficulty. You can access the gulch on pavement from lane gulch ranger station with about a 4 mile hike down lane gulch. There are ruins at the bottom. It is a wonderful area but takes some logistical planning.

Edited: 16 August 2018, 10:09
Eagle, Colorado
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2. Re: Cedar Mesa

Kane gulch not lane...autocorrect. Mule canyon is easy to access on a short easy dirt access. It has a ruin called house on fire which if you google image search it you see why mb it is one of the more easily accessed ruins. I have also day hiked 7 kivas in road canyon which is a short but steep hike with 700 year old kivas with partially in tact roofs. There are good hikes in the comb ridge and butler wash areas near bluff also.

Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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3. Re: Cedar Mesa

Good info and details from 618Keith. Cedar Mesa, and the nearby Grand Gulch, are huge areas that have extensive ancient sites. Some are documented well, some are not. While it contains similar sites to Mesa Verde, it's quite different in its expansiveness. Terrain is also different. You could spend an enormous amount of time hiking to various sites.

I don't have a lot of imagery from there but this is Fallen Roof Ruin, which is a pretty reasonable hike from the trailhead. We did it in winter.

https://flic.kr/p/cXxRVY

Do some more research and pick a site you like. Here's a link to permitting information for the region.

https:/…

If you're doing this en route from Moab to Mexican Hat via Natural Bridges, you have a very long day. I would get an early start. My personal opinion is that Cedar Mesa would be more memorable than Natural Bridges if you have to make a decision on the two.

Have fun.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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4. Re: Cedar Mesa

A thousand years ago there were thousands of ancestral puebloans, living in the area called Cedar Mesa. They left behind numerous dwellings and artifacts covering a huge area. Bears Ears NM covers some of it. It is difficult to access information because up until lately it has pretty much been off the map and undercover. It would be impossible to access much of it in a one hike or a half a day drive through. Because it is so big and unknown hiking there it is an entirely different experience from Mesa Verde.

A good place to stop on your route would be the Edge of the Cedars State park in Blanding.

Edited: 16 August 2018, 12:16
Las Vegas, Nevada
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5. Re: Cedar Mesa

"up until lately it has pretty much been off the map and undercover." Too bad it wasn't left alone, now that it has the "protection" of national monument status it will become overrun.

New South Wales...
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6. Re: Cedar Mesa

If you don't want to go down the dirt roads or hike to to the slightly more remote locations discussed above there are two sites you can see easily along UT-95 between Blanding and Natural Bridges NM. They are clearly signposted and have paved access roads and carparks. They are signed as 'Butler Wash Indian Ruins' (~MM 111) and 'Mule Canyon Indian Ruins' (~MM 102). They are no Mesa Verde but they'll give you a glimpse of what is out there.

And if your passengers keep an eye out you can see other ruins in the side canyons as you travel UT-95.

Santa Ana, CA
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7. Re: Cedar Mesa

The best map of Grand Gulch and Cedar Mesa is published by National Geographic as Trails Illustrated:

https://www.natgeomaps.com/ti-706-grand-gulc…

Ohio
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8. Re: Cedar Mesa

I'm with you Ziggy- ;(

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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9. Re: Cedar Mesa

Agreeing with Wings and Ziggy.

The region is vast and worthy of exploration. We’ve gotten some good tastes with extended stays using Bluff as a base.

Santa Ana, CA
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10. Re: Cedar Mesa

Michael Kelsey publishes the best hiking book for the area. The book I list below has 120 hikes and about a dozen of them are in Cedar Mesa.

http://kelseyguidebooks.com/?page_id=28

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