Anasazi State Park

Round Trip Distance: 0.25 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6721 - 6734 feet
Cellphone: 2-5 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Visitor Center
Fee: $5/person
Attractions: Ruins, museum

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The Anasazi State Park is located in the town of Boulder in south central Utah. Boulder is situated along the northern border of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. At the Anasazi State Park visitors can view some of the many artifacts that were unearthed at the site in the museum at the Visitor Center. Colorful dioramas and exhibits give visitors a glimpse back in time to between 1050 - 1200 A.D. when the site was likely inhabited. After touring the museum a wheelchair accessible trail leads around a few of the excavations where the foundations of the ancient pueblo peek out of the ground.

Looking at a map the Anasazi State Park might look a little out of the way at first until you notice that it sits along the route between Capital Reef National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and Bryce Canyon National Park. If you have never been through the area the scenery alone makes the trip worthwhile.

The museum displays a well represented assortment of the many beautiful styles of ancestral Puebloan pottery that the ancient southwest is known for.

The trail through the outdoor exhibits begins out the back door of the Visitor Center.

A replica of a small pueblo has been constructed for visitors to closely study. Here you can crawl through the rooms and imagine what life may have been like in such a structure. The only thing they ask is that you stay off of the roof. The pueblo has been built with such skill and attention to detail that it is almost impossible to distinguish it from some of the original ruins found in canyons nearby.

As you continue along the self guided tour you come to long blocks of rooms that are sheltered beneath a modern canopy for their protection. Normally the only good way to protect a ruin is to rebury it to keep it from further deteriorating. While the rooms that visitors are able to see seem impressive in number they are only a fraction of those at the site. All of the other rooms are piles of unexcavated rubble that are hidden by a thick growth of sagebrush.

Pithouses were another popular type of dwelling in ancient times. They required fewer materials to build and were easier to keep warm.

Informative kiosks along the trail make it a learning experience for visitors of all ages.

For those that like to buy items like hats, t-shirts and trinkets the Visitor Center has a well stocked gift shop. They also have items like authentic Navajo rugs. Across the street form the park there is a rustic motel with a convenience store that also sells some interesting items. If you are looking for a place to camp there are many campgrounds and RV sites, some with cabins, throughout the area. The park rangers can give more details as well as point you in the direction of various archaeological sites in the area. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.