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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 . . .