Like the First Explorers

grand-gulch-comb-ridgeSomething that is really neat about the western part of the United States is the abundance of public land. The National Park Service, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and probably one or two more I’m forgetting. What is even cooler about the southwest is the large amount of dwellings from the Ancestral Peubloans. Ancient homes spread out across mesa tops, valley floors, and throughout washes and ridges. Some places, like Mesa Verde National Park, have been set aside to enjoy and persevere from visitation.

I recently went to Comb Ridge in BLM land located between Blanding, UT and Bluff, UT. My housemate and I drove down Butler Wash where I had done some research to find that many of the small canyon/washes have dwellings or petroglyphs inside! The biggest issue, is there are no markers on the road, and its kind of really up in the air about how far you may be hiking or if there is anything off this little turnout. Not knowing really makes this anxiety girl not happy. Thankfully, we did find one! Butler Wash road is recommended 4-wheel drive and a vehicle with clearance. This two track road can get quite muddy and bumpy!

Monarch Cave

In BLM land, you have a bit more freedom than most National Parks. However, with that freedom comes great responsibility. While it is nice to explore these places up close and to see the land in different way, it’s never okay to remove an artifact (no matter how small) or touch any petroglyph, pictographs, or ancient walls. Its hard not to touch some of these things. Especially when you think about the fact that somebody made it, used their hands to make it. Then I remember how I felt finding these things, and how I want others to have that same feeling of excitement and awe. With that mind-set, its much easier just to take pictures and look around with wide eyes of excitement.

Also, try not to step on any Biological Soil Crust, also know as Cryptobiotic Crust. Read more here

Check out these other blogs to find more of what could be in Bulter Wash along Comb Ridge! 🙂
Butler Wash – Anasazi Ruins : Climb Utah   Butler Wash/Comb Ridge : Beyond Mesa Verde Ruins   Monarch Cave :  Butler Wash Ruins : Anasazi Hikes  Comb Ridge – Caves And Ruins :
Comb Ridge Utah – Ancestral Pueblo Ruins: Journeys

Remember- Don’t be like these guys! Archaeological Vandalism Try not to make “goodie piles” as well. 🙂 When you find a cool piece of pottery, check it out, take a pic, and then put it back where you find it. If archaeologist ever do come excavate these sites; its only helpful to them where the peuobloans left it. BONUS: If there are already goodie piles you can see some really neat things! (Just try not to add any.)


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