Big Foot Ruin

Round Trip Distance: 3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6065 - 6140 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 2 hrs.
Trailhead: Owachomo Bridge
Fee: $10/individual or $20/vehicle
Attractions: Nice ruins

The Big Foot Ruin is located in Tuwa Canyon just outside of the Natural Bridges National Monument west of Blanding, Utah. Ruins at the site are tucked under a south facing overhang well above the flash flood level of the wash. Visitors to the cliff dwellings are treated to a few very well preserved granaries and rooms that are easy to get to but seldom visited.

Head south out of Blanding for about 4 miles and turn west on UT-95. Continue following the signs for Natural Bridges National Monument and you will arrive after 35 miles. After stopping at the Visitor Center continue on the loop road to the Owachomo trailhead. There are nice flush toilets at the Visitor Center but other than the campground the only other restroom is at the Kachina Bridge trailhead.

From the parking area a concrete trail leads to the Owachomo Bridge Overlook. Right before the overlook  a primitive trail branches off on the right that leads down to the bridge. As you hike down the primitive trail watch for an unmarked trail on the left right before the start of a pole fence. 

The side trail passes directly below the overlook. Be sure to stay on the obvious route that parallels the contours of the short cliffs as it heads east. Avoid making any new trails through the area. 

Right at 3 tenths of a mile from where the route left the primitive trail it comes to a point of the cliff. This is a good spot to find your way down into Tuwa Canyon where you can follow the wash right up to where it passes by the ruins.

Staying up on the bench and continuing along the same route as before will lead to an overlook of the ruins. 

A few hundred yards before reaching the ruins the trail reaches the boundary fence of the monument where it looks like a person could also scramble down into the canyon without too much trouble. 

Staying up on the bench and traveling across a broken expanse of slickrock will lead to a good overlook after a short distance. 

The view from the overlook isn't as great as actually being able to get right up to the ruins but it is good enough to be able to appreciate the fine state of preservation that the ruins enjoy. 

Most of the structures are still nearly perfectly intact. 

Here a granary, that is next to a wall that has collapsed, can be found with its door still in place. If you do choose to hike down to the ruin be sure to touch nothing or do anything to disturb it in any way. Don't lean on or even touch any of the walls and definitely don't try to enter the structures. Being just on the outside of Natural Bridges this ruin probably now falls under the management of Bears Ears National Monument. Hopefully they will take the time to post their usual warning signs and reminders of the laws that protect all archaeological sites.

Most visitors to the Natural Bridges National Monument come to see its three main attractions, the iconic natural bridges, knowing nothing of the areas dozens of archaeological sites that are mostly hidden within the deep canyons of the monument and the benches along their rims. Visitors with the least amount of time stop only at the overlooks while others will hike down to at least one of bridges for a closer look. Only a very few in comparison make it a point to explore the lengths of the canyons where most of the ruins can be found. The short trek to the Big Foot Ruin or overlook is probably the easiest to reach of the inner canyon sites. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.