Double Stack Ruin

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 2.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4527 - 4629 feet
Cellphone: 0-1 bars
Time: 1 hr. 45 mins.
Trailhead: Double Stack Ruin
Fee: none
Attractions: Ancestral Puebloan ruin, Navajo wikiups




The Double Stack Ruin is located in the Butler Wash area near Bluff, Utah. Butler Wash is famous for the concentration of ruins found in the near 80 mile long Comb Ridge. The trails in Butler Wash tend to be short and of easy to moderate difficulty which allows hikers to visit multiple sites in one day. Primitive camping is available for free pretty much anywhere you can find a spot to park or if you would like something with a few more conveniences you can try the campground for a nominal fee at the Sand Island Boat Launch Area near Bluff.


The hardest part about hiking in the Butler Wash area is finding the correct trailhead. We have created a map that shows how each trailhead relates to the others to hopefully make it a little easier. If you click on the picture you can print the full sized copy and take it with you. The distances may be off by 1 or 2 tenths of a mile by your own measurements but they should be close enough to get you there. We calculated the measurements from the spot where we turned off the pavement to the turnoff to the trailhead along the Lower Butler Wash Road. We didn't include the distance from there to the actual parking area which usually was less than a quarter mile.


When you turn off of the Lower Butler Wash Road and drive toward the wash the road will split. Take the fork that leads to the right and begin hiking from there. Look for the unmarked trail that drops down into the wash and climbs out the other side. The correct trail will lead you a little to the north and west. If you begin at the end of the road that forked to the left you can still get there with a little more hiking.


When you climb out of the wash you will find a faint trail heading toward the canyon on your right.


Follow the cairns across the slickrock to where you will drop down into the mouth of the canyon. The correct route crosses the slickrock almost laterally without a lot of uphill climbing.


As you start up the canyon if you are in the right place you will come upon this Navajo wikiup. This structure has been standing here a long time. Because of their more delicate construction and the materials used wikiups are very fragile so be careful as you study it not to affect it in any way. A standing wikiup is found far less than most any other type of ruin. Once the wide use of horses were obtained the wikiup was largely replaced by the much larger tepee.


The trail up the canyon is primitive but still fairly easy to follow.


The first thing you will see as you come close to the site is the upper level ruin. Stay to the left in the bottom of the wash to get to the lower level ruin. There is also another wikiup in this area.


There is actually quite a bit to study at the Double Stack Ruin besides just the remaining walls of the structures.


You will find a metate and mano as well a places where metates were dished out in the slickrock and boulders.


There is a good assortment of painted hands pictographs in red, yellow and white.


As well as numerous pottery shards and flakes of chert leftover from arrowhead and tool making.


Also found are several varieties of little corn cobs.


The Double Stack Ruin is an easy hike with a few unique things to see like the wikiups. It becomes apparent that the area has been used by more than one type of people in the past. Hopefully visitors will respect the sites enough to leave everything the way they find it so future people can enjoy it as well. It adds a lot to the experience when you can see fragments of pottery, corncobs, rock art and metates still laying about a ruin. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.