Cedar Mesa 03.14.2013


Jun 14, 2012
On the evening of Thursday the 14th, I pulled off the highway onto Cigarette springs road and proceeded down the dirt track to where it dead ends at the head of a Road canyon tributary. There I unfolded my cot and unrolled my sleeping bag. Gotta love only 2 minutes to setup camp.



There was still an hour of daylight left and I felt like taking a walk after the 6 hour drive to get here. So I started off across the mesa, with absolutely no destination in mind, just stretching my legs. About 20 minutes later I noticed two stones of typical Anasazi building cobble size and shape, standing vertically and at right angles to each other. Only two stones, not even stacked, but it sure looked suspicious to me so I walked over for a closer look.

Sure enough, small mesa top site. Potsherds and flint chips scattered on the ground. A few yards from the two stones that had alerted me to the sites was a more profuse scattering of building cobbles, all overgrown with sage and cactus. And a few yards beyond that, this:


Nothing particularly unusual about stumbling across a site like this on Cedar Mesa. And certainly nothing special about this particular site. But after a long winter up north, being able to take a short walk and find it sure felt awful dang good!
Darkness was falling by the time I arrived back at camp. Not feeling ambitious, I made a very small fire in the existing stone ring and quickly roasted a couple brats over the coals for my dinner, washed down with a few fingers of Rye. Then it was early to bed, for my first night under the open stars in far too long.

Up at dawn, I lingered over a second cup of coffee and smoked a cigar watching the light come on and the colors fill in. Then after stowing my gear in the Jeep, I drove to the Citadel trail head. After a long cold winter, walking the rim of Road Canyon in shirtsleeves on a fine March morning was just about as good as it gets!

A few pics of the Citadel and the awesome bridge like approach to it.






Featured image for home page:


Jun 14, 2012
After I got back to the Jeep I drove back up the dirt track a short distance to another trail head for my second hike of the day. It was to be a fairly short hike, to visit the Fallen Roof site.

Let me mention now, that I had started out this trip with a new pair of hiking shoes. I say new, in that they had hardly been worn, though I’ve had them for months. Anyway… I had to buy a couple new pair of boots and shoes late last fall. Partly because all of my old ones are getting completely worn out. But also because my feet have grown in the past couple of years. Boots that used to fit perfectly, I now find the ends of my toes getting banged up.

So, anyway… New shoes, AND a half size larger than any I’ve ever worn before. I noted early on that there was a bit much room in the toe box. And that my heel seemed to be moving around more than I’d like. But I didn’t really think too much about it. I should have…

… Because, as soon as I started the hike to Fallen Roof, my feet were starting to hurt. I could tell they were blistering. I just kept going though. And had a fabulous time visiting Fallen Roof and a couple other nearby ruins. Here’s a selfie in my BCP colors.



And how about this one, see the small door to the left of the main door? What do you make of that? A cliff dwelling with a doggy door?


After Fallen Roof, it was back to the Jeep again, still plenty of light left for more hiking and exploring and I was more than stoked to do some more. My feet though… They were really bothering me pretty bad. I decided just to drive over to the Lime canyon Tower and poke around there for a bit.


Well, one thing led to another, and next thing I knew, I was off on a five mile bushwhack down into and back out of Lime canyon. Found some awesome ruins!
Judging by the lack of foot prints, this was one of the least visited ruins I’d see for the entire trip. The kiva was even fairly intact and preserved, but without any of the “stabilization/sanitation” of the more “perfect” kivas at other sites.






Jun 14, 2012
Back at the Jeep once again, my feet were KILLING me. I took off my shoes and socks to access the damage and was shocked at just how bad they looked. The worst blistering I have ever experienced. Multiple toe blisters on both feet. Heel blisters on both feet. A blister on the ball of my right foot. A huge blister on the side of my foot where I’ve never seen one before. And where they weren’t blistered, they were just one big hot spot ready to turn into more blisters. Considered taking pictures, but decided not to – I think they might have made some people sick just to see them. Seriously…

Anyway… I was definitely done walking for the day… So, I drove over to the vicinity Slickhorn canyon and found myself a secluded spot back in the forest to setup my tent. Just moving around to setup the tent, every step was quite painful. Oh, and in my infinite wisdom, the only other pair of shoes I had with me? Another new pair in the half larger size… They were mids though, offering at least the illusion and hope of greater support and comfort. Maybe…

I was in a GREAT mood though. Feet be damned! I was on Cedar Mesa. It wasn’t snowing! I had a whole nuther day ahead to enjoy it! Yay! Oh, and I also had a beautiful Mahi Mahi steak that I broiled, accompanied by buttered asparagus, yum-yum! After dinner I sipped some Rendezvous Rye and exchanged insults with a vocal coyote until it felt like bed time. I had that coyote so worked up he sounded like he was popping veins in his forehead screaming back at me. Good times!

Here’s camp for Fri. and Sat. night


Up before light on Saturday, but slow to get moving. The feet were just too painful. I sat around eating breakfast and drinking coffee for awhile, then did what I could to lance the blisters, wash, dry and tape up my poor little footsies. Then I put on my “other” new boots and drove over the the Slickhorn trail head and started putting one foot in front of the other on down the trail…



Jun 14, 2012
Beautiful morning! I mean, just drop dead. I was going pretty slow, but after the first mile or so my feet warmed up and didn’t hurt so bad and before long I was just cruising along nice and easy in my happy place.

The main attraction in this fork of Slickhorn is the Perfect Kiva site. Pretty neat.





From there it was basically just a nice spring canyon hike. I did spot a couple granaries near the confluence of the next fork of the canyon, of which this one was far the nicer.


View of Slickhorn canyon from inside the granary alcove




Jun 14, 2012
From there I turned up the second fork and started heading back. Encountered several boulder piles and dry falls that required a bit of route finding to get around, but nothing too rough. There was still a few patches of snow in spots and a bit of ice in the bottom, but I was surprised to see this ice fall under a ledge on my way up.


I eventually got back to the road and started walking back to the Jeep. Road walking sucks… So I cut off cross country back to the Jeep at the first trail head.
It was still pretty early, but according to my GPS, with all my meanderings and side trips I had walked about 14 miles for the day and my feet were DONE for the trip. So I just climbed into the Jeep, lit a nice Padron ’64 and went for a long scenic drive, taking the road all the way out past Hat Rock. Nobody out there at all, and it was gorgeous!


A road side granary site – pretty neat, the cave goes all the way through to the other side of the rock.



I did take one more short hike to see this ruin, which was definitely the least visited of any I saw on this trip. There was no trail at all and no footprints anywhere to be seen.




These mud hand prints were pretty cool.


I eventually made my way back to camp for a big last night celebratory dinner. A thick rib eye steak, with new red potatoes quartered and sautéed in garlic and butter. Afterward, I sipped rye and smoked my Padron and tried to get my coyote from the night before to talk to me again but he wasn’t answering.

Slept in until almost 7:00 on Sunday morning and took my time with morning preparations and packing up camp. Then, just because I felt like it, I took the bumpy drive all the way out to Point Lookout, before retracing my path back to the highway and heading for home.


A very nice trip!



Feb 23, 2012
Nice trip report. I have never been to Cedar Masa looks like a great place to visit.


Still right here.
Jan 17, 2012
I'm never sure which post to like when TRs are broken up into multiples like this, so, there you go, five new alerts from me liking these! :roflmao: Great stuff, Dave.


Alien from over the pond...
Sep 5, 2012
... a awesome trip in the history!
Thanks for sharing!
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