Bicycle touring the Colorado Plateau, part three: Cedar Mesa

Continuing my route out of the wilds of the Carrizo Mountains, I reached pavement again at Beclabito, New Mexico. This post has little text and is, I suppose, more about hiking in Cedar Mesa than bicycle touring. Here goes:

It felt good to hit some pavement for the short ride in and out Teec Nos Pos, but then I headed straight north to Aneth. I crossed the mighty San Juan River on a wobbly footbridge which seemed so much more appropriate to my journey than a highway bridge. Aneth, Montezuma Creek, Bluff, it was one town after another for a stretch. I left Bluff with 10 kg of food and 10 kg of water and hauled this load through Valley of the Gods, up the Moqui Dugway, and out to Muley Point. The food lasted, as it turned out, 9 days to the Needles Outpost. During that time I took 7 hikes and visited at least a dozen Anasazi sites.

Aneth, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Aneth, Utah
where the Hole-in-the-rock folks built their first houses in Bluff, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
where the Hole-in-the-rock folks built their first houses in Bluff, Utah
Valley of the Gods, north of Mexican Hat, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Valley of the Gods, Utah
Moqui Dugway, north of Mexican Hat, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Moqui Dugway, Utah
Muley Point, NW of Mexican Hat, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Muley Point, Utah

I had been to Cedar Mesa a couple times before and always wanted to go back and spend more time. As it turns out, five days was just a teaser. Anasazi ruins are the attraction. The canyons – all Cedar Mesa sandstone – are somewhat similar to each other. I visited two sites in Johns Canyon, spent two days in Slickhorn, exploring forks #1, #2, #4, and #6 (BLM-numbering system) and a day each in Lime and Road canyons. The most famous site I visited was probably the Citadel (aka Peninsula House) in Road Canyon, famous because it’s unusual and well-preserved and also, I think, because access is so easy. It was a bit of a zoo on the weekend. Three others were there at the same time I was.

Good Ruins, Main West Fork, Johns Canyon, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Good Ruins, Main West Fork, Johns Canyon, Cedar Mesa
Little Citadel, Lime Canyon, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Lime Canyon, Cedar Mesa
Little Citadel, Lime Canyon, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Lime Canyon, Cedar Mesa
Little Citadel, Lime Canyon, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Little Citadel, Lime Canyon, Cedar Mesa
Road Canyon, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Road Canyon, Cedar Mesa
Seven Kivas, Road Canyon, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Seven Kivas, Road Canyon, Cedar Mesa
Road Canyon, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Road Canyon, Cedar Mesa
head of Little South Fork, Road Canyon, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
head of Little South Fork, Road Canyon, Cedar Mesa
head of Little South Fork, Road Canyon, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
head of Little South Fork, Road Canyon, Cedar Mesa
Citadel, Road Canyon, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Citadel, Road Canyon, Cedar Mesa
Navajo hogan ? male-type ? Head of Slickhorn #4, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Navajo hogan ? male-type ? Head of Slickhorn #4, Cedar Mesa
log kiva, Slickhorn #4, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
log kiva, Slickhorn #4, Cedar Mesa
Slickhorn #4, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Slickhorn #4, Cedar Mesa
Slickhorn Canyon, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Slickhorn Canyon, Cedar Mesa
Head of Slickhorn #4, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Head of Slickhorn #4, Cedar Mesa
Perfect Kiva site, Slickhorn #1, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Perfect Kiva site, Slickhorn #1, Cedar Mesa
Slickhorn #1, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Slickhorn #1, Cedar Mesa
Good Ruins, Main West Fork, Johns Canyon, Cedar Mesa, UT by bryandkeith on flickr
Protect Wild Utah! Good Ruins, Main West Fork, Johns Canyon, Cedar Mesa

Still tuned for the final week — cycling north to Moab…

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1 Response to Bicycle touring the Colorado Plateau, part three: Cedar Mesa

  1. Mike Painter says:

    Cedar Mesa is great!

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