Comb Wash Pueblo

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.5-1 mile
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4797 - 4956 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Comb Wash Campground
Fee: none
Attractions: Pueblo, tower ruin




The Comb Wash Pueblo is the name that we are giving to an archaeological site that sits on the hillside above the Comb Wash Campground. All that is left of the pueblo that once overlooked the portion of Comb Wash near the mouth of Mule Canyon is a rubble pile from what looks to have been at least 5 or 6 good sized rooms some of which may have once stood more than one story high. Nearby there is also a tower ruin similar to others found in the Mule Canyon area.


Getting to where the trail begins isn't at all obvious. When you turn off of Highway 95 and head south on the Comb Wash Road there will be a registration kiosk with a parking area on both sides of the road. About 100 yards or so past that there is a semi primitive campground where there are a couple of restrooms and some campsites. A couple of the campsites have picnic tables. If you follow the road past the restroom that is furthest from the Comb Wash Road it leads to a few more campsites. As the road comes near to Comb Wash there is a brown mylar trail marker that can be seen at the beginning of a trail on the opposite side of the wash.


After the trail climbs out of the floodplain it cuts across the sparsely vegetated hillside toward a small canyon.


As it nears the wash that drains the small canyon it turns and begins climbing the hill beside the wash.


A few rubble piles from former structures can be seen between the trail and the wash. This area is only a quarter mile from the campground.


A semi-circle section of wall from where a tower once stood stands next to the wash just above another rubble pile.


The pueblo ruin is just a little further up on the crown of the hill.


There isn't much to see other than piles of rubble and depressions in the ground where the centers of the various rooms were.
We walked around the outline of the rooms so that we could get a rough layout of the pueblo to show up on our GPS. The rooms came out looking rounded on the map like pithouses would be but we are guessing that they were actually more square or rectangular in construction


There are a few shards of broken pottery scattered about the ground in places. Remember that it is illegal to remove anything from the site or to dig or disturb it in any way. This location could provide a wealth of additional information about life along Comb Wash whenever it is properly excavated.


If you would like to do a little more hiking you can follow the wash until it dead ends at a spillover. We actually climbed up the side of the spillover and looked around the area above it.


There is also an option to follow a side trail that crosses the ridge into lower Mule Canyon where there are some cliff dwellings and petroglyphs. Hiking up to the pueblo and then to the spillway and over to the Lower Mule Canyon Ruins and back will add up to around 5 miles of total hiking. Presently the camping at the Comb Wash Campground is free of charge. It usually fills up on the weekends but there are a lot of other primitive campsites nearby. We have never seen it when there is absolutely nowhere to camp. This area is also relatively close to Blanding where there are plenty of motels and campgrounds with full hookups and even wifi. For those staying at the Comb Wash Campground checking out the pueblo site and the Lower Mule Canyon Ruins is a very good option for something fun to do. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.