This Hidden Trail In Utah Leads To A Magnificent Archaeological Treasure
We’re lucky to have tons of ancient archaeological treasures and ruins all throughout the Beehive State, and some are even accessible for the most casual hiker. Here’s a popular ruin that requires just a short hike to reach.
You'll find the trailhead at the south fork of Mule Canyon along UT 95, just before you reach milepost 102.
The trail is almost completely level, with an elevation change of just 68 feet. It's a fairly easy hike, but make sure you have plenty of water with you.
The trail is accessible year-round, and you'll see fewer people if you visit in the winter.
It's a pretty hike, and the canyon is fairly lush and green considering the surrounding terrain.
Take your time and enjoy the scenery here!
You'll cross the creek that runs along the bottom of the canyon several times along the way.
The area around the creek can get pretty muddy at times, and you'll definitely want to check the weather before hiking this trail - flash floods can happen in this area. Most of the year, however, the creek is fairly dry. Contact the Kane Gulch Ranger Station before you hike: (435) 587-1500.
House on Fire is just one mile down the trail. If you time your visit right, this house will look like there are flames shooting out from the top of it.
During certain times of day (usually between 9:30 AM and noon), the sun hits the rock just right and bathes it in a warm, reddish glow. The striations in the rock about the dwelling look like flames reaching for the sky.
You can peer into the dwellings, but please be careful not to damage any of these fragile ruins.
Please be respectful of this special place. Don't take anything, and don't do any damage. Let's keep this area beautiful for generations of Utahns to come!
Continue farther up the canyon to see more ruins. There are eight other structures along the way, though some are more accessible than others.
The Anasazi people lived in this area between 1100 and 1200 AD. Some of the structures were used for granaries; others for residences.
While you're in the area, stop by the Mule Canyon Ruins to see a small Anasazi village. It's about a half mile farther west from the Mule Canyon trailhead.
The village contains the foundation of a 12-room structure, a tower and a kiva.
A structure with a roof has been built over the kiva to protect it from further deteriorization.
These ruins have been stabilized by replacing mortar and some of the stones that were deteriorating.
Before you take this hike, check out this video produced by
Friends of Cedar Mesa. It gives you some good pointers about how to visit sites like House on Fire without damaging them:
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15 gorgeous trails that everyone in Utah must complete.
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