Bradford Canyon Ruins

Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5249 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: MM 24.7
Fee: none
Attractions: Cliff dwellings, pictographs

The Bradford Canyon Ruins is located in the Montezuma Creek drainage between Monticello and Blanding, Utah. The extensive ruin is spread out across multiple levels of the face of a cliff where the builders seemingly took advantage of every ledge and recess to construct each room of the cliff dwelling.

There are multiple ways to get to the Bradford Canyon Ruins depending upon your direction of travel. If coming from the north you can turn off of US-191 5 miles south of Monticello onto the unmarked graveled Montezuma Creek Road, CR-187, and follow it south for 24.7 miles. According to Google Maps somewhere along the way CR-187 transitions into CR-146. The ruins are right next to the road making them hard to miss.

At the time the site was inhabited there were probably several ladders attached to the face of the cliff to provide access to the harder to get to rooms. Unfortunately there isn't a kiosk at the site. Something with an artists representation of the cliff dwellings in their hayday accompanied with other tidbits of information would be a welcomed improvement.

The walls that are wedged beneath overhangs have survived the years almost completely intact.

It appears they may have chiseled steps in the rock below the left side of this room perhaps using a ladder to get up to that point and then the steps for the rest of the way.

A level or two down the cliff are the remains of a chain of rooms that stretched along a ledge from one side to the other. Here again the walls built beneath overhangs have fared the best.

To the left of the ruins a few hundred feet is a fenced off area that protects a few pictographs.

We found this image that resembles the 'Flower of Life' pretty interesting. The circle within a circle sometimes is meant to represent god according to what we have read at other sites. That is also the meaning it has in the Flower of Life imagery. That one, of course, is made from overlapping circles but they both give a similar impression.

Not sure whether this black circle is a shield or something else. There are other more faded black images nearby.

There are cliff dwellings, granaries and petroglyphs all up and down Montezuma Creek. Other than the Three Kiva Pueblo, that is further down the road, the Bradford Canyon Ruins are the largest. Pueblos are said to have predated cliff dwellings. The cliffs provided a more defensible position from attacks. It makes one wonder whether any of the inhabitants for the Three Kiva Pueblo ended up relocating to Bradford Canyon. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.