Today was a trip through Southwest Utah re-visiting some familiar places and exploring new ones. We set out towards Natural Bridges National Monument with stops at two ruins which were new to us – Butler Wash and Mule Canyon. Butler Wash was a .5  mile scramble over slick rock boulders to a 20 room cliff dwelling of the Anasazi’s and Mule Canyon a not so well preserved kiva and 12 rooms – if you use your imagination. The 9 mile loop road in Natural Bridges was one where we spent a full day many years ago when we stopped at all the view points and hiked all the trails to the base of the bridges. This year we auto toured and only hiked to Owachomo and the Horsecollar Ruins. After the Natural Bridges loop we drove and descended 1,100 feet in 3 miles on the unpaved hairpin-turned Moki Dugway (thankfully our Toyota FJ  Cruiser held its own – an exciting drive). A couple of miles down the road we turned off to one of my favorite places – Valley of the Gods – its a mini-Monument Valley with scarcely a soul and 43 miles of wonderful unpaved roads. Leaving the Valley we headed to Gooseneck SP on the San Juan River – the picture speaks for it self —on to Durango CO for the night.

Butler Wash Ruins

Mule Canyon Ruins

 

Natural Bridges NM

 

Valley of the Gods

 

Gooseneck SP

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