_8TH9038  H 429 Cave Tower ruin in snow.

MULE CANYON RUINS
DISCOVER ANCESTRAL ANASAZI RUINS IN A NATURAL SETTING

BACKGROUND
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 these sites are over 700 years old.

HOUSE ON FIRE RUINS & UPPER MULE CANYON

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 30 feet above the wash. The ruin gets its name from the pattern in the overhang that resembles flames emitting from the structure. To catch the lighting just right, mid-morning (9-11am) is the ideal time to get to the ruin. 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. 1.5 mile passed House on Fire hikers can find another larger and more impressive ruin. This ruin occupying two adjacent alcoves includes multiple rooms, well constructed walls and a neat row of steps. 

GETTING THERE FROM BLANDING

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.

MULE CANYON

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, just .2 miles west on the highway from House on Fire.  

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 various stages of rubble and remains unfortunately. As you view the towers and gaze down the massive canyon you can view additional ruins tucked in alcoves and overhangs along the cliffs on the east/northeast canyon wall can be seen with a pair of binoculars. Its astounding to imagine the rural and primitive life the Anasazi lived in these harsh environments.


GETTING THERE FROM BLANDING
Turn west onto Highway 95 and follow the road for 19.1 miles and turn left on an unmarked road between mile markers 103 and 102. Open the gate and remembering to close it upon entering. Hikers driving low clearance vehicles should park at the pullout spots on the right side of the road. High clearance vehicles can drive up the road almost all the way to Cave Towers, 

BACKCOUNTY TIPS
Plan Ahead, Gas Up, Take Water & Tread Lightly. 
Cell service & Other Services Are Limited In This Region.