Round Trip Distance: 1/2 mile
Elevation: 6159 - 6184 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Facilities: Flush toilet, museum
Trailhead: Edge of the Cedars Museum
Fee: $3 ages 6-12, $5 individual
Attractions: Ancestral Puebloan Ruins, museum
View Edge of the Cedars in a larger map
The Edge of the Cedars State Park is located on the west side of Blanding, Utah. The park protects a fine example of Ancestral Puebloan ruins and has a museum that houses some of the finest examples of pottery and a large variety of unique artifacts. And one of my favorite things about the place is that you are actually allowed to climb down inside one of the ruins.
Getting to Edge of the Cedars State Park requires a little bit of navigation from the beaten path. While driving through Blanding on Highway 191 there is a 90 degree kink in the road at the junction of East and West Center Street. Turn west of West Center Street and follow the signs to the museum. And of course, if you click on the Google Map on this post you can always click on the trailhead icon and choose 'Directions' to get there from wherever you might be.
Access to the ruins is made by entering the museum through the front door and paying the required fee. There is a door in the back that leads to the ruins. As you can see from the sign the museum is closed on Sundays but other than that it is open year round.
When first constructed the ruins at the Edge of the Cedars State Park where multi story dwellings with some rooms below ground.
A kiosk gives some very interesting information on how the structures were built.
Visitors are allowed to climb upon one of the roofs and enter the chamber beneath them the same way that it was originally accessed when it was inhabited.
I'm not sure why but I find this picture to be a little haunting.
One of the kiosks has a nice artists depictation of how the site would have originally appeared.
The Sun Marker site shows how ancient people used the shadows of the sun to track the seasons and mark significant events such as the solstice. Many religious ceremonies where tied to the cycles of the sun, moon and stars.
This picture is a little reminiscent of the Sun site in Canyon Pintado. When the shadow intersects the circles at various places a certain time of the year would be signified.
The museum at the Edge of the Cedars State Park has many wonderfully displayed artifacts. A lot of time can be spent reading the placards with each object. It is surprising how recently some of the pieces were discovered. It gives you the feeling that there is still a lot of stuff out there waiting for someone to find. Children will enjoy exploring the replica of the inside of a home that has been created inside the museum.
Blanding, Utah has a lot to offer its visitors in the way of hiking and exploring old ruins. With Hovenweep, Natural Bridges and Monument Valley within close proximity it is a good central hub. One thing it is lacking for sure are some nicer hotels and restaurants but perhaps someday they will have those also. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.