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Forty-One Miles of Mesa (May 2021)

I was naive. I thought that returning to Cedar Mesa in search of more Native American Ruins (see Utah, Re-Ruined) would get me to the point where I'd have seen most of what we'd missed on our first trip to the area some two years earlier (see Ruining Around Utah). Yeah, calling that naive is probably being generous.

While I was there, I quickly realized that I was only scratching the surface - that there was so much more in the area - that I could probably visit for years (decades even), and still have more to see. A lot like Death Valley National Park, really.

One place that really caught my attention was Comb Ridge. Beautiful while I was there, I researched it more upon returning home, and discovered that the eastern flank - which descends into Butler Wash - is litterally covered in ruins and rock art.

And with that, a trip was born.

The reality is that there's probably six months worth of exploration that could be done in Butler Wash, but we'd hit some highlights in just two days and 24 miles of hikes. Then, we'd cap off the trip with a 17 mile journey on the other side of Cedar Mesa - hiking down into Bullet Canyon and making our way out via the neighboring Sheiks Canyon.

41 miles of hiking in two-and-a-half days - certifiably crazy in the 90°F heat. But I assure you, it was certifiably fun as well!


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