Butler Wash Ruins, and the scenic start to Utah 95


As soon as I turned onto UT 95, I turned off it again, onto a side road that promised a campground.  I didn’t need a campground — I was only looking to take a cool picture.  As soon as I saw this sign, I knew I had found what I was looking for.

UT 95 stretches for 126 miles, with very few services along the way.  Fill up your tank and grab a bottle of water in Blanding.  If you don’t, you can find gas as you cross Lake Powell, at Hite Marina.

Butler Wash Ruins

Feel like stretching your legs?  In the next few miles you’ll pass several parking areas, with trails that lead to ancient Native American ruins.  These are the Butler Wash Ruins, easily viewable at the end of a 15-minute hike.

Anasazi Indians built these structures,  and lived here, around 1200 AD.

You won’t be able to walk amongst these ruins.  They’re located in the wall of a steep cliff, that drops down into Butler Wash.  And it’s a good thing folks can’t get any closer, because if they could, these ruins probably wouldn’t be around any more.

Over the next few miles,  You’ll pass two other sites of archaeological importance: the Arch Canyon Ruins, and Mule Canyon Ruins.

A little beauty along the path to the Butler Wash Ruins.

Pay attention as you follow trails: while most parts are well-trodden, you won’t be able to follow footprints over slickrock.  Watch for piles of rocks, or cairns, which are used to mark the trails.  Weathered old logs may also help guide the way.

Back On UT Hwy. 95…

A shot of UT 95, as it slices through redrock.

Another view along the road.

UT 95 is known as the Bicentennial Highway, and wasn’t completely paved until 1976.

Note: This trip was first published in 2004.

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