April 30, 2015

Arch Canyon OHV trail, Blanding, UT.

   Arch Canyon OHV trail  20.4 miles in 6.5 hours, leave enough time to take in the incredible scenery.  We are camping, 3mi south of Blanding UT, 14 mi w on Hwy 95, in the combs wash boon docking site to the Left.   The Anasazi Indians lived here 1,000 years ago.  They built dwellings along the creek for farming and for water. They built in the cliffs for protection from enemy and weather and sun penetration for the seasons. The walls are so straight with precision workmanship.                                                     The ride is a easy sandy trail with 20 creek crossings, no elevation. There are 7 cliff dwellings, 6 are on the right in different elevations. (MM=odometer) Start at the beginning of county rd. 205, 0MM, a stones throw west of the camp, where you will see the Arch Canyon sign,  ride in 2.4 MM, it will be the second road to the L, GPS 37*32.653N  109*39.948W,  ride in a short distance to the first trail and marker to the L, back to a BLM Monticello kiosk with below map.

IMG_0147 IMG_0288

The 1st cliff dwelling has a large sign-Arch Canyon Ruin.  You can walk up to it and see some pictographs and the ruins. Some dwelling are in better condition.  37*32.776N   109*40.302W

1Arch R 1Arch R2Thick walls
1AR pic IMG_0278

2nd house is high on a cliff at MM3- Arrows point to dwelling -GPS-37*32.80N   109*40.475W

2WR 2CR2

3rd house in a low cliff at MM3.7-  GPS- 37*33.008N  109*41.048W , Check this one out, is the last one now along the trail that you can reach.  it is a very interesting one, they placed peak holes and even have shelves in it. The finger prints in the mud are from when they built it. Below

3WR 3CloR3
3CR3 3ClR3

4th house is at MM4.3 It would have been difficult to enter. GPS-37*33.403N  109*42,168W Below

IMG_0166 4CR4

5th house is called a Jacal, which means they put sticks up in the natural opening and put stones or mud on both sides, it is the highest site, 200 ft from the top of a 1,000 cliff, they must of entered from the top which is the Mini Baullie Mesa. there is a granaries to the right. The only one of this kind.  mm5.7- GPS-37*33.360N   109*42.805W  Below

IMG_0199 IMG_0189

6th house is at MM7.5 and it is on the south side of the creek GPS-37*34.868N   109*44.281W

6WR 6CR6

7th house is at MM 8.3 We’re not sure how deep the cave is. GPS-37*35.672N  109*44.927  Below

7WR Looks like the home was  built after the two rocks fell.>

When you reach the end, MM10.2,  you will gaze upon the Canyon Arch.  GPS- 37*36.397N  109*45.722W.  The first picture shows the mountain with the arch in the center. You can walk down the Arch & Texas Canyon trail to see another arch. We didn't go all the way

IMG_0226IMG_0215 IMG_0209

Here are just a few of the 118 pictures I took along the way! It was an amazing trip back in time.

IMG_0250 IMG_0245
IMG_0258 IMG_0249

April 29, 2015

Climbing Combs Ridge / Tower Ruins-25 mi

   We were boon docking at Combs Wash off of Hwy 95, we went across the road to County road 205-Arch Canyon road.  (Arch Canyon is in 2 miles, but there is no sign to tell you to turn left to get there.)  We drove in about 3 miles from the highway , turning right on to BLM trail marker 1, (Canyon Riders Trail) which is county road 240. This is mountain pass is for experienced riders only. The trail climbs to the top of Combs ridge, where you have amazing sights along the way!

IMG_0002 IMG_0013
IMG_0015 IMG_0021
IMG_0014 IMG_0024

Once on top, if you continue north on county road 240 for 3 1/2 miles, you will see a small road to the right, continue to a parking spot, then you will find rock carrions to guide you down into the canyon  about 1/2 mile round trip. Here tucked into the end of a canyon is a superb cliff dwelling house called Tower Ruin.  It is in wonderful condition including the wooden poles. You are asked not to go inside to preserve the structure. There are also pictographs and petroglyphs.

IMG_0104 IMG_0115
IMG_0100 IMG_0096

This looked to be a wonderful location with a pool of water and spring out front. Notice the water that would come down from above and the beautiful colors on the roof.  You can turn around and drive south on the 240 road, there is a picnic spot where you can view Combs ridge and the wash down below.   You can ride to the end of this road or check out alternative roads.

IMG_0056 IMG_0039
IMG_0053 IMG_0065
IMG_0061 IMG_0042
4834ft elevation at camp, the top of Comb Ridge is 5981ft, a  rise of 1147ft
Ruins parking 37*34,876N 109*39,267W elevation 5853ft
Tower Ruins 37* 34,835N 109*39,144W  elevation 5666ft
IMG_0044 IMG_0027 IMG_0057
IMG_0118 IMG_0048 IMG_0040
Combs Wash Rd or 235 is at the bottom of the passage thru Combs Ridge on Hwy 95. When you turn down the sandy road go 3 miles, turn right at a major intersection, keep going back, thru a small stream to the end where there is a turn around.  Park there and look for the cliff dwelling to the east. It is a short hike to the dwelling, what a awesome place this is. Please respect all ancient ruins.

IMG_0211 IMG_0213
IMG_0199 IMG_0224

Combs Wash cliff dwellers 37*30.251N  109*39.987W
LOCATION>   NEAREST CITY=Blanding, Ut   DIRECTIONS= S on Hwy 191, turn W on 95, travel 10 miles to Combs Wash
AREA >   TYPE OF LAND=-desert, mountain  , OWNER=  BLM, Nat Forest
QUALITY >  Pro- many trail in this area, great views / Con-some trails are 4X4 roads /  Length of stay-1 day for this trail, but other trails in the area / Rating-stars-5
TERRAIN>  MILES OF TRAILS,  dust / water crossing /elevation     TRAIL MAINTENCE   / SQ. MILE AREA -yes /  NEAR BY TRAILS- numerous
REGULATIONS> Permit required-Utah OHV permit / Camping /whip / helmets req. / width req.
FEE> Camping-no fee / Entry-no fee
KEY SERVICES> Camping / Gasoline / Diesel / First Aid /  Water /  Dump / Food=Blanding, Ut
SIDE TRIPS> Natural Bridges National Park, Many Cliff Dwelling Houses and hiking in the area
CONTACTS> BLM Offices, Visitor Centers