JAGGED MONOCLINE CUTTING ACROSS THE SKY FOR 80 MILES TO THE CENTER OF THE COLORADO PLATEAU
The most prominent section of Comb Ridge lies where the ridge is crossed by Highway 95 and Highway 163. For a stretch of 25 miles the faultline easily achieves heights of 700 feet above its surroundings. Comb Ridge features gently sloping ground to the east, formed by the top of a layer of white Navajo sandstone. The ridge is inclined at 20 degrees, until it reached the unbroken line of sheer cliffs to the west.
The most accessible east side of the reef is split by many small canyons, which at times contain small springs, sheltered ravines, and shade. These areas provided ideal dwelling places for the ancient Anasazi, who built settlements in alcoves and on benches, and decorated the canyon walls with pictographs and petroglyphs.
COMB WASH & BUTLER WASH ROADS:
Both sides of Comb Ridge are paralleled by maintained dirt/gravel county roads, both of which link the north and south highways. Comb Wash to the west and Butler Wash to the east.
As you follow county road 262 down Butler Wash, you'll find several ruins, and one of the best group of petroglyphs in the Southwest call The Wolfman Panel. The BLM maintains several trailheads near the most important ruins.
Following county road 235 down Comb Wash travelers will enjoy the massive monocline and southeastern Utah’s red rock landscape. The tilted sandstone formations form a rugged and stunning scenery on the west side of the ridge.
There are campsites on both Butler and Comb Wash roads, these campsites are primitive and amenities are few or very basic. Be sure to prepare beforehand. The region is quite scenic and geologically interesting, so worth exploring even for those not especially interested in the Anasazi.
OTHER TIPS AND INFO:
Both the east and west side of Comb Ridge are part of the Bears Ears National Monument.
Make sure your pack is filled with essential safety gear, including extra clothes, food, water and an emergency shelter. Comb Ridge is hot during the summer, so bring at least a gallon of water per person per day, and wear a hat and sunscreen for protection. AWD and 4x4 vehicles are recommended for the area.
GETTING THERE FROM BLANDING:
To reach the Butler and Comb Wash turnout travelers will drive 3 miles south of Blanding and head west on Highway 95. Follow Highway 95 for 11.2 miles (Butler Wash) or 18 miles (Comb Wash) and follow the county roads to Highway 163.