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Cedar Mesa for Thanksgiving

Thursday – Sunday, November 27-30, 2014

For Thanksgiving this year, Diane and I decided to spend a nice relaxing weekend on Cedar Mesa and we really lucked out with nice weather all weekend. The high temperatures were in the upper 50’s during the day and low temperatures only dropped into the mid-30’s at night. We had camped in colder temperatures in the mountains during the summer! The campground at Natural Bridges National Monument made a perfect base-camp for us, which also happened to be free during the winter months and was a nice surprise. Diane had prepared a nice Thanksgiving dinner that we ate next to the campfire on Thursday night. The rest of the weekend we hiked in search of ruins and rock art. We ended up visiting many ruins that I had been to a long time ago and that Diane had never been to before, which allowed me to try and get some better photos of them. We explored a few new areas, too. Enjoy the photos from our weekend!

White Canyon

The White Man pictograph.

White Man

Hiking under Sipapu Bridge.

Sipapu Bridge

Many reverse handprints in a very large alcove.

Many Hands

Beautiful hiking in White Canyon.


This little pictograph of a sheep looks like it was created with fingerprints of paint.

Fingerprint Sheep

Canyon Hike


These double-decker ruins were pretty cool. The roof/floor between the levels was even still intact.


Pink sky over Cedar Mesa.

Natural Bridges Sky

Reflection in Road Canyon.

Reflecting Pool

The two handprints at the top are some of the biggest I have ever seen. They were almost as big as my hands, which is unusual since most of the handprints I come across are much smaller.

Big Hands

Hidden in the Shadows

We caught some nice warm sunset light on the next few ruins and petroglyphs.

Oval Ruin

Sunset Light

Circles Sunset Panel

Last of the light.

End of Light

The Oven Ruin.

Oven Ruin

I like how this ruin was constructed with large sandstone slabs.


We visited the well-known Fallen Roof Ruins. It has been many years since I was at these ruins, so it was nice to get better photos.

Fallen Roof Ruins

One Room

Two dancer petroglyphs on the top of a large boulder.

Two Dancers

I love the little pictographs painted inside the structure.

Kachina Ruins

Hiking under Kachina Bridge.

Kachina Bridge

This is definitely one of my favorite petroglyph panels in the area.

Spiral Panel

Ruin Rock

A lot of atlatls and a big sheep.

Big Sheep

A small arch we hiked by that we are referring to as the Hidden Window, since it has no official name.

Hidden Window

I’ll finish off with a sunset photo of the Bear Ears, prominent landmarks on Cedar Mesa and the surrounding area.

Bears Ears

>> Cedar Mesa for Thanksgiving Photo Gallery


  1. Steve K.
    Steve K. January 20, 2015

    Hi Randy, another great blog post from you. Wonderful stuff.

    I’m working and living at Natural Bridges now! So I especially appreciate this post.


    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat January 20, 2015

      Thanks Steve! I’m sure I’ll be down that way this spring, maybe we can meet up when I am?

  2. Bradley McMillon
    Bradley McMillon June 6, 2015


    I live in Ridgway and have been trying to locate the cap rock ruins in Cedar Mesa – could you give me directions on how to find it.
    Thanks in advance

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