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The Bears Ears II

Southern Utah Wanderings | Cedar Mesa
Tuesday – Thursday, October 3-5, 2017

Long Front Ruin
Long Front Ruin hidden in an alcove on Cedar Mesa within Bears Ears National Monument.

After spending Monday in the Abajo Mountains and the previous weekend in the northern section of The Bears Ears, it was time to head over to Cedar Mesa so we could spend then next couple of days exploring some new areas of this part of The Bears Ears searching for new ruins and rock art sites. Here are a few photos from the remainder of our trip…

Two ruins with intact roofs in a shallow alcove.

Two Room Alcove

The Bear’s Den. I came across a few signs of bear in this part of the canyon.

The Bear's Den

A very small granary with an open door that is located next to a well-preserved kiva.

Open Door

Pretty fresh mountain lion tracks as I hiked through a narrow part of a canyon.

Mountain Lion Tracks

A small granary nestled into the back of a large alcove.

Secluded Storage

The doorway of another small granary.

Corner Doorway

A few nice painted potsherds I found below some ruins I visited. There were a lot more in this area.

Painted Pieces

Sunshine Wall

Sunshine Wall

Ruin At The Point

Ruin At The Point

The Complex Ruins

The Complex

Complex Rooms

A view from the front of these two-story ruins.

Complex Front

A good look at the roof beams of The Complex Ruins.

Roof Beams

A look at the remaining roof of this two level structure.

Partial Roof

A closer look at the upper level doorway of The Complex Ruins.

Upper Level

Faint pictographs including a pretty large sheep.

Big Faint Sheep

The remains of a structure with a smoke-blackened ceiling above.


Cactus Close-Up

Cactus Close-Up


An evening hike along the rim of a canyon.

Evening Hiking

I’ve come across a lot of benchmarks and other USGS markers over the years, but I’ve never seen a State Road Right Of Way marker before.

State Road Right Of Way

I finally took the time and hiked to the summit of Salvation Knoll right next to the highway. I’ve driven by this spot many times over the years and always said to myself that I should do this short hike sometime, and I finally did!

Salvation Knoll Summit

A long front wall with a collapsed roof.

Front Wall

A few large potsherds I found just like this on Cedar Mesa. Of course, I left them where they were.

Big Sherds

A recent rockfall that we passed on a short overnight backpacking trip. It was a pretty humbling sight and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to have been below when it occurred.

Fresh Rockfall

One of the few new petroglyph panels I visited on this trip.

Fading Petroglyph Panel

Not only is the front of this ruin pretty cool, but so is the texture and light on the ceiling of the alcove above it.

Long Front Ruin Alcove

The oldest benchmark we would come across during the trip from 1909.

1909 Marker

A small granary bathed in nice reflected light.

Little Granary

The doorway into a square ruin on a ledge that we climbed up to.

Ledge Room

Half-Finished Ruins

Half-Finished Ruins

A big white pictograph above a few ruins on a ledge.

Big White Pictograph

Camping in a Cedar Mesa canyon on a short overnight backpacking trip.

Canyon Camp

Warm evening light on the sandstone above our camp right before sunset.

Camp View

Jared hiking through a narrow part of the canyon.

Cedar Mesa Hiker

Bridges Evening Primrose on Cedar Mesa.

Bridges Evening Primrose

A well-preserved kiva with the original ladder still there. A very rare sight and one of the highlights of our trip!

Kiva & Ladder

A close-up shot of the original ladder in the kiva.

Original Ladder

Inside the kiva and the bottom of the original ladder.

Kiva Interior

>> The Bears Ears II Photo Gallery

One Comment

  1. Dianne
    Dianne November 6, 2017

    Your photos are beautiful. I have been to Cedar Mesa a few times in the last four years. It is a stunning historical area. Your hiking ability has allowed you to see such wonders of early man as well as ancient geology. I appreciate that you allow us to get glimpses of what you have experienced. Thanks so much. I loved receiving your latest photos and comments.

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