Pine Spring Ruin

Round Trip Distance: 0.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6515 - 6661 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: San Juan County Rd. 2331
Fee: none
Attractions: small ruin

The Pine Spring Ruin is located off of San Juan County Road #2331 in the Cedar Mesa Area west of Blanding, Utah. The small seldom visited  ruin sits in a sunny south facing alcove between Highway 95 and the Fish Creek drainage.

To get there from Blanding drive 4 miles south on Highway 191 and turn onto Highway 95 as though heading toward Natural Bridges National Monument. After another 24.5 miles turn left onto San Juan County Road 2331. (A marker with the road number is on the right about a 100 feet or so after leaving the pavement.) The turnoff itself is just before Highway 95 reaches Salvation Knoll. There is an alternate turnoff back near the Mule Canyon Ruins roadside exhibit but we did our measurement from the turnoff near Salvation Knoll.

After turning off of Highway 95 follow the well maintained road for about 1.6 miles. Right before the 1.5 mile point the road bends to the left and drops down a hill. The ultimate destination is the alcoves that can be seen just ahead on the north side of the road. There is nowhere to pull off of the road or anything at all that resembles a trailhead so you have to judge for yourself where to stop and pull over to the side leaving enough room for vehicles pulling RV's to pass.

Before you leave the dirt road you can orient yourself to the alcoves and head in that direction.

There isn't a marked trail to follow but if you see footprints heading in the same direction it works out best if you can follow those so that maybe a trail will occur naturally from more people taking the same route.

Once you reach the alcove you will find that there are only a few stub walls remaining with only a few of the rocks still cemented in place. It's always fun to look closely at the cement for fingerprints made by the original builder that have dried in place leaving their mark for as long as it remains.

Some very faded wet-charcoal images can be spotted on the back wall of the alcove.

Shards of pottery also litter the ground here and there.

The shallow alcove has a nice view looking south. It is situated so there is shade within the alcove during the warmer summer months when the sun is high in the sky but during the colder winter months the warmth of the sun reaches directly to the back wall of the alcove where the radiation will raise the air temperature near the ruin considerably.

The Pine Spring Ruin is a nice option for one of those times when you are too tired from a longer hike and are looking for a shorter easier option to fill out the day. There is an excellent camp site about another quarter mile down SJ CR#2331 right where Picket Fork crosses the road but every time we go by it there is always someone there. A few other primitive campsites that can accomodate tents or RV's are also in the area. We have it in mind to do further explorations nearby but it has been 10 years that we have been doing no more than thinking about it. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.