An ancient canyon

After our “Type II fun” packrafting last weekend, we decided to take a relaxing weekend of camping, hiking, and roaming around an obscure canyon, Joan found on the topo.
We stayed at a favorite campground on the way that’s quiet, lightly used, and easy to get to with the lesser daylight hours. A hearty chili and homemade cornbread meal complemented the Milky Way above, and the shooting stars went well with our hot drinks.

Enjoying my morning coffee. PCO Joan.

In the morning, we drove to the “trailhead” that’s only found on USGS quads and walked a mix of an old jeep track and cattle trails to reach what seemed an extensive Pueblo in the past. The fall color on the canyon bottom did not disappoint.

PCO Joan.

Lots of sherds, unexcavated structures, cliffside dwellings, and indications of canyon rim buildings abounded. We walked, savored the fall colors in the canyon, and took our time in this canyon.

Starting the climb out of the canyon.

Above the unexcavated structures, we spotted cliffside structures dotting the cliff walls.

Sherd-filled paths led along the cliff wall and formed a logical way between the dwellings.

Evidence of incisions and more recent “rancher glyphs” also dotted the route.

Another path leads to the canyon rim.

On the top, we found evidence of towers in the past.

As typical in this area, Sleeping Ute lines up with rim-top structure remnants.

On the horizon, we could see the building storms that NOAA informed us of earlier. But the rim top made for an inviting break spot.

We packed up, headed out, and then returned to our campsite. Though we originally planned to leave in the morning, the wind and dark skies made us reconsider our plans. We quickly packed up, enjoyed an unexpectedly good meal in a nearby town, and made it back home just as the rain started. The freezing rain Sunday morning in Moab made us glad of our decision.

Sunday made for a lazy day with coffee, baking, and gear maintenance. And looking at more than a few maps for future jaunts.

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