Highway 95 106.7 Ruin

Round Trip Distance: 0.3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4899 - 4956 feet
Cellphone: 0-2 bars
Time: 30+ mins.
Trailhead: Highway 95 MM 106.7
Fee: none
Attractions: cliff dwelling, petroglyphs

This post is for an unmarked archaeological site west of Blanding, Utah that is partially visible when driving along Highway 95 near mile marker 107 as the highway climbs out of Comb Wash. The site has several small walls remaining of various rooms and granaries. Nearby are rubble piles from former structures as well as a panel of petroglyphs. Getting to the site is not the easiest of tasks.

To get there drive about 4 miles south from Blanding on Highway 191 and turn right on Highway 95 toward Natural Bridges National Monument. The highway crosses Comb Wash after 14.3 miles where a road to the left leads past a campground and on down Comb Wash. Just past that there is a road on the right that leads toward Arch Canyon. If you stay on the highway and continue following it as it makes its steep climb out of Comb Wash the ruins will be visible briefly a short distance past mile marker 107. There is a pullout on the south side of the road but to park there you would need to continue driving until you come to a place to turnaround. Traffic usually isn't all that heavy on Highway 95 but since the pullout is below the crest of the hill it can still be dangerous parking there and trying to cross the road to get to the ruins.

Another option is to turn off at the bottom of the hill as though you were going to Arch Canyon and find a place to park along that road. Once parked you can walk back toward the highway and follow either the wash or the fenceline to get to the ruin.

For this post we ended up hiking in from the bottom where we followed the fenceline to get up to the ruin and then followed the wash to get back out. There is a lot of brush to fight your way through just before reaching the site if taking this route. We watched a family with a couple of young kids that parked along the highway and came in from that direction. They had the steep hillside and embankment to deal with going that way. Their route was much shorter but it looked like it may have been a bit harder.

The ruin itself is nestled beneath a shallow south facing alcove. As can be seen from the picture most of it is in the form of rubble piles but there are enough stubbly walls remaining to get a general idea of the layout.

One small granary that is still in fare shape sits just above the ruin.

After perusing the ruin you will want to walk around the base of the cliff towards the head of the small canyon. Here you will pass by more rubble piles.

On the side of the cliff face there is a long panel of petroglyphs that are probably about as interesting as the ruin itself is. We outlined most of the images on the computer to make them standout in this photo.

While hiking back to our truck we noticed several areas where there were quite a few broken pieces of pottery. The shards look like they are part of a midden but the ground is all loose dirt and there doesn't seem to be a structure nearby. It just seemed odd that there would be such a variety of pots represented if it weren't a midden. The ruin might have been easier to visit before the highway was built and all of the fill was ramped up to carry the road out of Comb Wash. Most casual hikers will probably want to skip this almost inaccessible site and explore somewhere else. If you would like to see it for yourself though then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.