Five Kiva Pueblo

Round Trip Distance: 0.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5635 - 5755 feet
Cellphone: 2-5 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: End of Ruin Road
Fee: none
Attractions: cliff dwellings

The Five Kiva Pueblo is located in Big Canyon on the west side of Blanding, Utah. The site is nestled within an alcove that overlooks the scenic little Westwater Creek. The east facing Five Kiva Pueblo is a little different from many other sites that favor more of a southerly exposure to capture as much radiant heat from the sun as possible. Having 5 kivas in a relatively small alcove is also a little unique.

To get there drive south on Main Street and turn right, or west, onto 1600 South as you head out of town. Continue straight on 1600 South past 300 West. As the road approaches the canyon it turns to the left. The trailhead is at a turnaround spot at the end of the pavement. Enroute you will pass the trailhead for the Nations Natural Bridge.

The last part of the road as it travels along the rim of the canyon is also known as the Ruin Road.

The ruin is visible from the trailhead in an alcove on the opposite side of the canyon.

To get a closer look there is a trail that leads down into the canyon and up to the ruin on the other side.

On the day we took the pictures for this post there was a steady rainstorm that lasted most of the day. Even using a large umbrella to shield the camera we still managed to get a big smear on the lens that can be seen in a few of the photos that were taken before we noticed it and cleaned the lens.

Several of the kivas are larger than what might be expected when there are 5 of them located in a modestly sized alcove.

The space around the kivas appears to have been well used by numerous other rooms.

Many of the smaller alcoves and seams along the cliffs of Big Canyon also have granaries and other rooms tucked away within their recesses. This part of the canyon appears to have been home to a thriving little village at one time.

One of the present day residents that we noticed was a 'child of the earth' or 'potato bug' that are common in the area.

We will have to revisit the Five Kiva Pueblo in the future to take some better pictures and to explore a little more of Big Canyon while we are at it. A ruin as extensive as this that is so easy to get to is great to know about if you happen to be in the Blanding area. It goes very well with a visit to the Edge of the Cedars State Park which by itself makes a visit to Blanding, Utah worth the time. Both are even nice to do on a rainy day when you can't get out on any of the area roads. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.