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Thanksgiving In The Bears Ears

Thanksgiving Weekend | Thursday – Sunday, November 23-26, 2017

Cracked Pot
A Mesa Verde Style corrugated pot found in situ within Bears Ears National Monument.

Except for last year, it has been kind of a tradition for Diane and I to spend the long Thanksgiving Weekend exploring southern Utah around Cedar Mesa, Comb Ridge and Montezuma Canyon. This year was our first Thanksgiving in the area since it was officially designated as Bears Ears National Monument late last year. Of course, at this point it’s not certain how much longer this Monument will be around in its current form…

Aside from our first Thanksgiving together when we camped at Natural Bridges National Monument, we typically get a hotel room in Blanding because of the long cold nights this time of the year. It turned out that this year was unseasonable warm and it would have been perfect weather for camping had I not already booked a room in advance. It was actually warmer out than I would have preferred for some of our longer hikes. Enjoy a few photos from our long holiday weekend in The Bears Ears!

The Bigfoot Ruins

Bigfoot Ruins

Canyon Sunburst

Canyon Sunburst

After a long hike we finished the day off by watching the golden light before sunset strike these ruins and then disappear.

Ruins At Sunset

Driving between the Bears Ears.

Bears Ears Pass

Sunset over Cedar Mesa.

Cedar Mesa Sunset

Diamond House Ruin

Diamond House Ruin

A closer look at the diamond design.

Diamond Detail

A sunburst over a square kiva.

Kiva Sunburst

Open Door

Open Door

Part of the top of a pot that Diane found.

Pot Top

Roof Construction

Roof Construction

An evening at the base of Comb Ridge.

The Comb

This pictograph is being covered by runoff.

Washed Over

Ancient Steps Ruin

Ancient Steps Ruin

Reverse Handprints

Reverse Handprints

More of the Bigfoot Ruins.

Bigfoot Rooms

Bushwhacking- my least favorite part about exploring untracked canyons. This was one of the easier sections to get through…


Canyon Pool

Canyon Pool

Closed Door

Closed Door

Sunset on Comb Ridge.

Comb Ridge Sunset

An evening hike in a Cedar Mesa canyon.

Evening Canyon Hiking

Toeprints in the mortar at Bigfoot Ruins.

Toe Prints

This ruin blended in well with it’s surroundings.

Blended Ruin

Canyon Hoodoo

Canyon Hoodoo

A footprint pictograph.


Ruins on top of a hill in the middle of the canyon.

Hilltop Ruins

An old cattle trail we used to get out of a canyon.

Cattle Trail

Sandstone Nook

Sandstone Nook

Reflecting Ruins

Reflecting Ruins

The remains of a square kiva.

Square Kiva

Three Hands Granary

Three Hands Granary

The third pot we have visited on Cedar Mesa.

Cedar Mesa Pot #3

Colorful and vibrant reflected light on this interior doorway.

Interior Doorway

>> Thanksgiving In The Bears Ears Photo Gallery


  1. Dianne
    Dianne November 28, 2017

    You have outdone yourself this time! These are beautiful photos of fantastic sites. Thanks so much for taking the time on your hikes to take these photos and share them!! What treasures to behold! Let’s hope they get saved for future folk to enjoy.

  2. matthew
    matthew December 4, 2017


  3. Randy Gerdes
    Randy Gerdes December 23, 2017

    Can’t wait to get going myself. Your photos are great and inspirational. Nice work.

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