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Bears Ears National Monument

President’s Day Weekend | Saturday – Monday, February 18-20, 2017

Hobbs Wash Ruin
I finally made it to the Hobbs Wash Ruins this weekend while avoiding storms in the area.

This holiday weekend was supposed to be our first camping trip of the year, but the wet weather forecast made me rethink those plans at the last minute. Throughout the prior week and up until Friday the forecast was calling for 90-100% chance of rain and snow on Cedar Mesa and the surrounding area for Saturday and Sunday. I was about to cancel the trip altogether and stay home, but I decided to check hotel rates in Blanding on Friday afternoon and found a King Suite at the Rodeway Inn for $36 a night. At that price I couldn’t pass it up and figured that even if the weather didn’t cooperate with us, at least we’d have a nice getaway for the long weekend that wouldn’t cost very much. I am glad we still went because we had an awesome time and the weather really didn’t interfere too much.

While rain and snow did impact Cedar Mesa over the weekend, we were able to tour the brand new Bears Ears National Monument by staying further south, closer to Bluff and Mexican Hat. We also spent a little time in Hovenweep National Monument since Diane had not been there before. We would encounter a few sprinkles of rain and a bit of mud, but nothing that got us soaked. We saved our trip up onto Cedar Mesa for Monday after the storms had passed through the area and things started to dry out. Enjoy some photos from the weekend!

We were lucky enough to find our second complete pot this weekend. It’s funny, because we found our first one two years ago on the same weekend. This was certainly a highlight of the weekend for us!

Hidden Treasure

Hovenweep Castle Reflection

Hovenweep Castle

Hiking through a shallow canyon of Comb Ridge.

Comb Ridge Hiking

A cool hoodoo that we found while searching for a petroglyph-covered boulder.

Table Rock

A dark boulder with some very old petroglyphs.

Dark Panel

Limestone Falls

Limestone Falls

Ancient Life Petroglyphs

Ancient Life Petroglyphs

Unusual petroglyphs just outside the door of this ruin.

Welcome Mat

The Obelisk

The Obelisk

Canyon Pool


Atomic Rock Petroglyphs

Atomic Rock Petroglyphs

Butler Wash Road

Butler Wash Road

The Big Crane

The Big Crane

Tower Point with Sleeping Ute Mountain in the distance.

Tower Point

Another dark boulder with old petroglyphs. We saw a bunch of these this weekend.

Black Boulder

Driving into the fog on Cedar Mesa at sunrise.

Bicentennial Highway

Striped Panel

Striped Panel

Twin Towers

Twin Towers

The edge of Tank Mesa.

Let There Be Light

The Procession Panel

Procession Panel

Cedar Mesa Fog

Cedar Mesa Fog

View from the top of Comb Ridge.

Top of The Comb

Duckhead Man Panel

Duckhead Man Panel

Diane hiking ahead of me.

Hiking Ahead

Trail Fork

Trail Fork

Full potholes on Comb Ridge from the recent storms.

Comb Ridge Potholes

A small ruin in the light and shadows.

In The Shadows

A large stick-figure petroglyph.

Stick Man

Hovenweep Castle on the edge of Little Ruin Canyon.

At The Edge

Driving through fog as we drove up onto Cedar Mesa.

Through Fog

Pictograph designs in an alcove above a ruin.

Pictograph Ruin

Procession Panel Elk

Procession Elk

Canyon Reflection

Canyon Reflection

A rain squall in the distance as we drove over Cajon Mesa to Hovenweep National Monument.

Drive To Hovenweep

A nice little waterfall in Johns Canyon from rain up on Cedar Mesa.

Johns Canyon Waterfall

Cedar Mesa Pot

Cedar Mesa Pot

Driving back home past the Cameo Cliffs and La Sal Mountains.

Cameo Cliffs

>> Bears Ears National Monument Photo Gallery


  1. Gregg Esenwein
    Gregg Esenwein February 25, 2017

    You take some great pictures Randy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Brenda Tharp
    Brenda Tharp February 27, 2017

    Wonderful, Randy – and proof that it needs to stay protected, let’s hope it does…

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