Round Trip Distance: 1 mile
Elevation: 5228 - 5354 feet
Cellphone: 0-2 bars
Usage: Hiking - Dogs (on leash)
Time: 1 hrs.
Facilities: Vault toilet
Trailhead: Butler Wash
Attractions: Ancestral Puebloan cliff ruins
View Butler Wash Ruins in a larger map
The Butler Wash Ruins are located about 14 miles west of Blanding, Utah on Highway 95. This short trail leads to an overlook of some ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings that were inhabited around 1200 A.D. The site includes 4 kivas along with areas for storage and living.
The Butler Wash trailhead is set back a short distance from the highway and due to the shortness of the hike it is a great additional stop for anyone heading to Natural Bridges National Monument.
The first part of the trail is a wide dirt path that mostly follows a wash toward the overlook.
The does gain about 100 feet in elevation and most of that is accomplished as it travels up and over the stretch of slickrock that leads to the overlook.
The overlook is fenced so you can stand close enough to the edge to look down into the canyon. There are several interpretive kiosks that explain the nature of the ruins.
The ruins are nestled into the alcoves near the top of the cliff. It appears that access to the lofty alcoves was made by following the taper of the rock from the bottom of the wash and maybe a ladder to help get up to the level of the alcoves.
Looking into the large alcove it is apparent the the structures must have originally been at least twice their present height. Maybe reaching almost to the top of the opening.
There are also some ruins in the smaller alcoves.
It appears that the water that contributes to the lushness of the was cascades down the area of the east cliff as well as right over the opening of the large alcove. That may have been very pretty during a good storm.
With the Butler Wash Ruins so close to the main road, no entrance fee, and it being such a short hike they are an ideal excursion for travelers passing through the area. For anyone else looking for an excuse to visit the Blanding, Utah area they are a nice addition to the larger attractions like Hovenweep and Natural Bridges. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.