Cedar Mesa Part One: A Tour of Butler Wash and Mule Canyon

Home to one of the largest concentrations of Anasazi cliff dwellings, this remote corner of southeast Utah offers a world of exploration.

The area of Cedar Mesa has been inhabited since the early Archaic culture some 8000-plus years ago. And since then, a number of other cultures have also called the area home, including the Pueblo, Anasazi, Ute, Paiute, and Navajo Indians.

Today, aside from the ones just off of the highway, not much information exists about these primitive canyons. Venture off the beaten track, and you’ll never know what to expect. Wayfinding is exhausting, and a map a necessity.

Click Here for a great resource at finding the ruins. And remember to bring a pair of binoculars or a zoom lens to gain a better look at the ruins.

Butler Wash Ruins

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With easy access and very well preserved, the Butler Wash ruins are one of the most popular destinations in Cedar Mesa.

South Mule Canyon

Another famous canyon, this too can be found just off the highway. Home to one of the most well-known ruins, House on Fire, the trail is well blazed and most of the ruins relatively easy to spot.

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When the sun hits just right, the serpentine desert varnish on the alcove’s roof transforms into a blazing inferno.

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Mule Canyon Tower Ruins

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Tower Ruins2

Ruins barely visible far below in the cliff’s wall.

Tower Ruis

 

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