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Wednesday
Apr272011

House on Fire Ruins

In southeast Utah not too far from a little town called Blanding exists a 6 mile hike that will take you back in time to when Native Americans thrived there. Cedar Mesa is littered with granaries, kivas, petroglyphs, and other remnants from times past. Located near Natural Bridges National Monument, Cedar Mesa is BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land offering great camping and day use options.

My purpose in visiting this destination was to see House on Fire Ruins sometimes also referred to as Flaming House Ruins. This ruin is comprised of granaries which are essentially storage rooms built above the ground to keep grain or animal feed away from critters. The 6 mile hike actually offers several such ruins including one that is 2-stories tall. A full day should be dedicated to making the full 12 mile roundtrip hike to allow for time to enjoy each ruin. For me, House on Fire was a strategic stop on a long road trip and the only ruin that I stayed for this time around. Here's a look at it:





Directions to House on Fire Ruins:

From Blanding...

Head west on I-95 toward Natural Bridges National Monument for approx. 19 miles until you reach Arch Canyon road. There's no sign for this road so you'll have to look for mile marker 102. Once you reach this mile marker, make a right turn (north) onto Arch Canyon which is unpaved.

From Natural Bridges National Monument...
Head east on I-95 toward Blanding for approx. 21 miles until you reach Arch Canyon road. There's no sign for this road so you'll have to look for mile marker 102. Once you reach this mile marker, make a left turn (north) onto Arch Canyon which is unpaved.

From Monument Valley...
Head northeast on I-163 for approx. 23 miles. Turn left to head north on UT-261 for approx. 32 miles. Turn right to head east I-95 toward Blanding for approx. 9 miles until you reach Arch Canyon road. There's no sign for this road so you'll have to look for mile marker 102. Once you reach this mile marker, make a left turn (north) onto Arch Canyon which is unpaved.

Stop at the signage (after approx. 100 feet) to pay the $2 day use fee and proceed by car approx. 100 meters further to the South Fork trailhead on the left. Park there and head west into the canyon following a trail that zigzags across a sandy wash a dozen or so times. The first 100-odd meters is littered with tumbleweed. House on Fire is approximately 1 1/2 miles in on the right hand side about 20 feet up.

Please please...if you visit this area, do your absolute best to protect and preserve it for future visitors!

Photographing House on Fire Ruins:
The ruins are located under a cliff overhang out of the reach of direct sunlight. However, around noon or just before it, light reflects off of rocks across the way creating a nice orange glow on House of Fire Ruins making this the best time to photograph it.


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