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Bears Ears to Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients

Alternate Plans: Back on the Four Corners Circuit | Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 6
Friday & Saturday, May 20-21, 2022

This upcoming week Diane was going to be out of school and was looking forward to getting away for her Spring Break, so for the past few months I had been planning a week-long trip for us to visit the Jemez Mountains and Bandelier National Monument near Santa Fe. Unfortunately, the large Cerro Pelado Wildfire ended up closing both Bandelier National Monument and the Santa Fe National Forest before our trip, so I was forced to come up with Alternate Plans for the week and decided to return to the Four Corners area. Hopefully we will be able to reschedule a trip to the Jemez Mountains another time in the future since we were both looking forward to it!

I left from work on Friday afternoon, picked up Diane at home and then we headed south to start our week-long road trip through the Four Corners area in Bears Ears National Monument. We stopped to get a pizza for dinner in Blanding and then found a spot to camp along Comb Wash for the night.

The light and clouds were looking nice this evening, so I stopped for a couple photos of the new ADVENTR Jeep as we drove along the Comb Wash Road, since this is it’s first real road trip.

Comb Wash Evening

Comb Wash Road

Comb Ridge View

We found a nice little campsite near Comb Wash and went to bed shortly after sunset.

Comb Wash Camp

On Saturday morning we started the day with a nice hike on Cedar Mesa to search for some ruins and then made our way over to Cortez in Colorado with a couple of stops in Hovenweep National Monument and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.

A nice little Kiva.


Ruins at the back of a large alcove.

Back Ruin

We stopped to visit the Cajon Group Ruins of Hovenweep National Monument since I hadn’t been here in a long time and Diane had never been.

Cajon Ruins

Cajon Ruin

When we made it back into Colorado we took a detour to hike out to the Dolores Canyon Overlook in the San Juan National Forest.

Dolores Canyon Overlook Trail

Dolores Canyon

Dolores Canyon

Looking across over the Dolores River and Mountain Sheep Point.

Mountain Sheep Point

An expansive view from the Dolores Canyon Overlook.

Dolores Canyon Overlook

Next up we stopped at the Goodman Point Unit of Hovenweep National Monument.

Goodman Point Unit

This is an unexcavated site so there is not too much to see here, but it was interesting to see how large this site was.

Goodman Point Ruins

Claret Cup Cactus

Claret Cup Cactus

Our last stop before making it to Cortez for the night was at the Sand Canyon Pueblo. This way to the pueblo…


Again, there’s not too much to see here besides large piles of rubble, but there are some interesting interpretative signs along the way.

Sand Canyon Pueblo Ruins

Upper Sand Canyon

Upper Sand Canyon

After leaving Sand Canyon Pueblo we returned to Cortez for the night so we could get ready to spend a full day on Wetherill Mesa in Mesa Verde National Park on Sunday!

This Broken Bowl that we had visited along the way was certainly a highlight of the day!

Broken Bowl

>> Bears Ears to Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients Photo Gallery

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