After a number of hikes to check out ruins near Bluff, we decided to take a day off from all that walking and visit a nearby ruin that is accessible by vehicle. Just across the nearby San Juan River is a nice set of ruins called the Sixteen Room House Ruins.
While a number of ruins are known by multiple names, 16 Room House has more names than any ruin we have come across. We’ve seen it called 16 Room House, 16 Room Ruin, 16 House Ruin, 17 Room Ruin, 17 Room House, 14 Room ruin, 14 Window Ruin and Echo Mesa Ruin. There are probably more variations as well but no matter what you call it is a great place to visit.
While the ruins are not far from our RV park, they are on the other side of the San Juan River so it is a bit of a drive to see them. To get to the ruins we drove two miles west of Bluff on US 191 and turned south at its junction with US 163. About ten miles after crossing the San Juan River we turned left on the first paved road, CR 438. The first seven miles of this road are paved. The road is then dirt (well maintained) for the next four or five miles before reaching the ruins. Along the dirt portion of the road we passed a number of wild horses grazing in the desert.
Soon the road dropped down to the river bottom flats near the San Juan River and from here it is a short drive to the large alcove containing the ruins.
The main trail to the ruins leads steeply up the center of the alcove. Can you see the nimble hiker in the photo below?
From the ruins you can look back over a farm field and the green banks of the San Juan River.
This short trip is the last for our stay in Bluff. We explored this area in May of 2013 so this time we skipped a few of the “must see” spots nearby such as Gooseneck State Park, Valley of the Gods, and Natural Bridges National Park and let our friends, David and Karen, visit those spots without us.
Now it’s time to continue our trek north. We’ll be moving about a hundred miles up the road for a stay in beautiful Moab. This will be our second visit to Moab, and we are excited to show David and Karen some of our favorite places. More on that later . . .