MULE CANYON RUINS
DISCOVER ANCESTRAL ANASAZI RUINS IN A NATURAL SETTING
MULE CANYON RUINS:
Mule Canyon is a cluster of ancestral Anasazi ruins located in Bears Ears National Monument - Shash Jaa Unit near Blanding Utah. The well preserved Anasazi ruins found at this site are over 700 years old. The ruin complex includes above-ground and under-ground dwellings: a kiva and tower which have been excavated and stabilized as well as a block of twelve rooms. The BLM has constructed a canopy to protect the kiva. Interpretive signing and vault toilets are provided. The site is handicapped accessible and well signed on the highway. The site is open year round and there is no admission fee.
Location is 19.6 miles west of Blanding on Highway 95.
HOUSE ON FIRE / SOUTH FORK MULE CANYON RUINS:
This easy hiking canyon is home to a handful of Anasazi cliff dwellings, most famous of the bunch is House on Fire ruin. House on Fire sets under an overhang on the right side of the canyon about 20 feet above the wash. The ruin gets its name from the pattern in the overhang that resembles flames emitting from the structure. House on Fire is 1.8 miles round trip.
The dwellings do not end with House on Fire, If hikers continue on the canyon trail you will discover more ruins that are easy to see or access. 1 mile passed House on Fire a small structure with two walls and a window, in a shallow, curving alcove, quite high up can be seen. Half a mile passed this structure is a larger and more impressive ruin. This ruin occupying two adjacent alcoves includes multiple rooms, well constructed walls and a neat row of steps. The fourth structure is a circular kiva and a granary to one side. Some of the walls have collapsed, but the site is still interesting. To reach the fourth structure is 2.7 miles along the trail. If you choose to continue you can find other sites.
The trailhead is one of the easier canyons to gain access to in the National Monument area. To get to the trailhead drive south out of Blanding and turn west onto Highway 95. Continue for 19.4 miles and turn right onto the Texas Flat Road. There is a fee station after turning off of the highway for anyone that is hiking in either fork of Mule Canyon.
CAVE TOWER RUINS:
There are seven towers in various states on both sides of the canyon rim. Much of the first story of one of the towers on the east rim is in very good shape. The other towers are basically piles of rubble and remains. additional ruins tucked in alcoves and overhangs along the cliffs on the east/northeast canyon wall can be seen with a pair of binoculars.