Exploring in Bluff, Pt. 3 of 3

Bluff, UT

Toward the end of our week in Bluff we headed back up on Cedar Mesa to explore Shieks Canyon.  To get to the trailhead you follow the directions to the more popular Bullet Canyon Trailhead (between mm 21 and mm 22 on UT 261).  Once at that trailhead, continue following the maintained dirt road (it turns right at the trailhead) for another mile and a half.  At the “T” in the road turn left for another mile to the parking area.

It is a bit confusing at this point because the road continues, but a small sign said to park behind the sign due to road damage.  When we hiked the road we found that we could have continued in the Jeep for another half mile to where the road ends.

The actual trailhead is not well-defined, as cattle have grazed here so there are trails all over the place.  The best thing to do is just follow the road to the end, where the actual trail veers off to your left.  But we hiked what looked to be a main trail until we came to the edge of the canyon.  OK, so how do we get down the steep cliff?  We flipped a coin and turned to our right.  After hiking about a half mile without success we flipped that coin again and hiked back to the left.  A short distance from where we first came to the canyon (and two miles later), we found the trail going down into it.  Just a short distance down into the canyon we came to the ruins we were seeking.

Yellow House Ruins above

The Yellow House Ruins site holds three structures, the largest being a semi-circular, yellow walled dwelling with a perfect, original and unrestored ceiling made of large logs crossed by smaller sticks at right angles.  The gaps are filled with adobe.  The ties are made from the Yucca plant.

The yellow ties are in fine shape

We hiked further down the canyon but found it to be rough going.  Our legs were a bit tired from a long hike the previous day and the search for the canyon, so we decided to turn around and return to the Jeep.  Another 2.5 miles down to the bottom of the canyon is the Green Mask Ruin.  We’ll try that another time.

The trail is a bit challenging

Our final day in Bluff was Founder’s Day, a celebration of the arrival of Mormon pioneers who arrived to settle the town in April of 1880.  One of the events was a parade through town.  Although small in numbers, the participants (many were relatives of the original settlers) were very enthusiastic.

The organizers advertised that two bands would be participating.

Local Country and Western group

They had no ID but must be from the high school in Blanding

Replica of handcarts pulled by Mormon pioneers

Three local hermits who came to town to enjoy the festivities!

Basket weaving demonstration at the Twin Rocks Trading Post

Our original plans had us leaving Bluff and heading north for a two week stay in Moab.  But we have been to Moab many times and were both anxious to spend some time at our new home in Boulder City, so we cancelled Moab and headed back to Nevada.

The San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff, AZ

After a long drive of almost 450 miles we arrived at our house and quickly backed the motorhome into its new spot.

It fit into the space perfectly, even with the slides out.

We plan to spend the next few weeks here while we settle in.  Then we’ll hop back into the motorhome for a summer trip east to visit family.

But remember, there are many, many hiking opportunities around the Las Vegas area, so we’ll still be lacing up the boots for some exploration.

More on that later . . .

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24 Responses to Exploring in Bluff, Pt. 3 of 3

  1. I can see why you would cancel Moab and spend some time at your new house. It looks very inviting!
    Think we would skip the parade 😉

    • placestheygo says:

      It has been a very different experience with all the space. I keep losing John! And the bathrooms are so far away!
      The parade was only about 20 mins and very cute. Everyone threw candy so we enjoyed that. We don’t usually do parades. But in this tiny town we wanted to show our support:)

  2. Lewis says:

    Love the hermits and their emotional support bananas!

  3. LuAnn says:

    Don’t blame you one bit for cutting your trip short and spending some time at your lovely new home.

  4. Your pool looks so inviting. Enjoy your new digs!

  5. Sherry says:

    Love your pictures of the ruins. How old are those yucca ties? Wow! Small town parades are always so cute. Must be advertised far and near to get those hermits to come in. I’m assuming this is still a Mormon town? Love the solo flute player. I am still in awe of how perfect your new place is. A “garage” for your motor home big enough to put the slides out. It just amazes me. And the pool is beautiful. Do I see late night skinny dipping in the future? Salt water pool?? Coming East during the summer. Pennsylvania? Hope you don’t melt or that East means Coastal New England. Although at the rate the cold weather is leaving, it may still be there when you arrive.

    • placestheygo says:

      Sherry, the information I found on the Yellow House Ruin said the structure is over 700 years old from core sample dating. That makes the Yucca ties even more impressive. Yes, Bluff is a Mormon town. The pool is fresh water. We will be heading to Atlanta first as we come east, then PA, and on to northern NY before we head back west. Hope it warms up eventually!

  6. Laurel says:

    Another great hike and very cool ruins. It’s amazing that those yucca ties are in such perfect condition.
    I can see why you wanted to head for your new home. Your pool is beautiful! And your motorhome really does fit perfectly into its spot there. Did you let John come inside the house? I see him waving through the windshield. :-))

  7. Jodee Gravel says:

    This is what happens when a man has unlimited Internet in a S&B! Bluff has so many wonderful ruins – and a very cute local parade. It’s interesting that some family from the original founders remain in the area. They clearly let anyone come to the parade :-))) John looks like he may be signaling for help in the window. So happy you came back to get settled in the new place – leaving bread crumbs to find your way around and all…….

    • placestheygo says:

      Bread crumbs are necessary to find each other after living in such close quarters for so long. Besides the house there is also the outside with a yard and garage for one to hide!

  8. exploRVistas says:

    I love a small town parade! For a minute, I thought the two bands were a country band and a western band. 😉

  9. Looks like another successful, adventure filled trip to Bluff!

    Love that the MH fits with the slides out!

    • placestheygo says:

      This was an awesome visit to Bluff with several new hiking adventures that I’m glad I discovered. But there are still ruins I still need to get to! We really lucked out with the size of the MH garage. The others on the street are much narrower.

  10. geogypsy2u says:

    Those ruins are the best! Totally amazing to see the Yucca ties still in place. Interesting ‘little’ parade. Always wondered what the handcarts looked like. Have fun nesting.

  11. So many trails so many ruins!
    Too bad that the original owners forgot to install extra hookups for visiting friends!

    • placestheygo says:

      Cedar Mesa is an endless supply of amazing hiking adventures. I still have areas to visit on my list and we’ve been there five times! The hookups for friends isn’t the problem, it is the space thing! We all own very long homes!

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