Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Return to Mule Canyon Cave Towers.

I've previously posted about the first time visiting the Cave Towers at Mule Canyon with Four Corners Adventures, so here is the return visit the next day.  On that first visit, I mainly stayed on the left hand side of the canyon area; this is about the right side.  The high winds were gone, the sky clear and sunny; walking the ledges was a piece of cake, and no holding the camera with one hand, while the other held onto a tree for support.

Now, how to find the Cave Towers (aka Seven Towers), from Highway 191, going south from Blanding, go 19.3 miles along State Highway 95.  On the left hand side of the highway you'll see a dirt trail with a gate across it; just open the gate, go through and make sure to reclose the gate.  About 2/10ths of a mile, you'll reach a parking area with an informational board; the ruin site is only 4/10ths of a mile further on, so you can either hike to them or drive.  If you drive, make sure you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle with high clearance, skid plates would be a beneficial addition.

View from Parking Area.

As I said in my previous post on Cave Towers, the seven towers are distributed along the rim of Mule Canyon.  Roy and I climbed to the partial tower seen on the right hand side; use a walking stick for extra leverage on the sandy upward trail.  Within this tower is still one of the original wood beams, and a view of the puebloan ruins along the canyon's wall ledges.

Mule Canyon Wall Ledges with Pueblo Ruins.

Some of the towers are completely collapsed, but as you travel from one tower to another, you will notice that the other six are in view to each other.  Their placement protected the canyon, the secret spring that ran within this area, and watch guards were in sight of each other.  Smart strategy!

Ruin on Ledge Below Collapsed Tower.

The advantage to being able to walk the ledges, along the right hand side, is being able to better view the ruins tucked into cave openings and along the wall ledges.  A zoom lens on the camera is a huge help in seeing them properly, and we also had binoculars.

Pueblo Ruins Along Wall Ledges


Ruin Near Mesa Top.

My previous post on the Cave Towers included photos of Mule Canyon, so here I concentrated on pillars, pinnacles and walls.

Walking back to our vehicle, we found two interesting things, well interesting to us at least. The first was a stone which seemed to have a circle with lines radiating from it; was this a carving of the sun, or simply natural weathering from sun and rain?  The second was a gathering of dried juniper berries on the path itself.  The nearest juniper bush was about 10 feet away; the wind might have blown them there, but they were so neatly together.  More than likely, they had gathered by a bird or small creature.

Like the rest of Mule Canyon, this area is quiet, serene and beautiful; come visit, however, leave it as clean and complete as when you first entered.

Mary Cokenour

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