President’s Day Weekend | Saturday – Monday, February 17 – 19, 2018
This year for President’s Day Weekend Diane and I decided to head back down to Cedar Mesa for our first visit to Bears Ears National Monument of the year. Of course, I’m not really sure what’s going on with the Bears Ears boundaries at this point since it appears the Monument was officially shrunk on February 2nd, so we may have never actually set foot inside the actual Monument at this particular point in time? Looking at an updated map, it looks like we may have briefly set foot inside the new Shash Jaa National Monument on this trip? But enough about that, we ended up spending most of the weekend exploring canyons carved into Cedar Mesa and visiting ruins that I hadn’t been to in a number of years, plus a few new ones. We also made a detour over to Montezuma Canyon on Monday morning before a strong winter storm moved into the area and chased us back home in the early afternoon. Up until that point temperatures in the area had been very nice for this time of the year and we had some great hiking weather. Enjoy some photos from our extended weekend and let me know which ones are your favorites in the comments!
Cracked Door Ruin
An interesting section of a larger petroglyph panel.
Big Room Ruin
Lace Rock Ruin. The tafoni in the sandstone next to this ruin really makes for a great image!
A beautiful Ute petroglyph panel viewed just after the sun dipped below the horizon.
Searching under a ledge of Cedar Mesa sandstone.
A great view over a canyon as a strong winter storm moves into the area.
A small petroglyph panel above an old kiva.
A small granary tucked under an overhanging ledge with it’s door still in place.
This horned shield petroglyph reminds me of some of the pictographs I’ve seen in the Book Cliffs near home.
There’s not much left holding this ruin together any more. It’s mostly just stacked rocks at this point…
Can you spot Diane in this photo as we explored a canyon near Grand Gulch?
Sheep & Spirals
A large sandstone fin catching the last rays of sunlight of the day.
An old kiva high above the canyon with part of the ladder still intact.
The interior roof of the kiva is still in pretty good condition. Check out that construction!
The remains of a ruin that was constructed mostly with wood and mortar instead of rocks.
A canyon sunstar as the day was coming to an end and we were hiking back to the Jeep.
I just love seeing the construction of these old roofs that are still in good shape. It’s amazing to think about just how old those knots are!
A large petroglyph panel that was difficult to photograph since it was located above us and angled upwards.
A couple of duckhead petroglyphs that are to the right of the larger panel seen above.
Even though the air temperature this weekend was pretty nice, there was still some ice in the shaded parts of the canyon that don’t see much direct light this time of the year.
Low Ledge Ruin
I love watching the sky when a strong storm front is moving into the area.
Sunset at Yellow House
Ute petroglyphs at sunset.
Closed Door Ruin
This last photo was taken at a huge ridge-top ruin site as the storm that was moving into the area finally reached us. It was just starting to rain a little and the gusty winds were picking up a lot of dust in the canyon and even making it difficult to walk around. We hiked back down and then started our drive back home. It was another great weekend in southern Utah!