Moqui House

Round Trip Distance: 1.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4700 - 4770 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hrs. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Butler Wash Rd. MM 9
Fee: $5/vehicle
Attractions: Cliff dwelling, petroglyphs

The Moqui House is a seldom visited ruin that is located in the Lower Butler Wash area of Comb Ridge near Bluff, Utah. With a few standing walls still remaining the ruin probably has the highest number of petroglyphs compared to its Comb Ridge companions. Also remarkable are the all the moqui steps that were made into the slickrock below each room and the large number of pottery shards scattered about the ground.

Measuring from the Butler Wash Road turnoff on UT-163 it is right at 9 miles to a road that branches off on the left leading toward Butler Wash.

From the turnaround at the end of the road look for a faint trail that makes an easy crossing of Butler Wash.

After crossing Butler Wash the trail travels along the north side of another wash that drains out of Comb Ridge. After a short distance the favorable route crosses this side drainage and continues along its south bank where the route becomes more obvious and easy to follow.

The wash eventually becomes the trail and after another short distance there is a fork in the wash. The most prominent route at this point appears to be the wash on the left which leads to an alcove with a few bighorn petroglyphs and some dry stacked rocks that form a circular room just outside of the alcove. The right fork at this point that leads to Moqui House is much more congested until it climbs around a large pothole of water.

A short distance after getting past the pothole several ruins can be found along the south facing cliffs.

Seemingly every bit of the lower cliffs in this area are sprawling with petroglyphs.

The images appear to span from the basketmaker era up to more historic times where one or two horses can be spotted.

Extensive use of moqui steps appear below the various rooms of the cliff dwellings. There are also quite a few troughs made from grinding seeds and such. In one spot there a a couple of holes in the back wall that would have held roof supports.

The shear number of pottery shards seems to suggest long periods of occupation. Remember to leave all pottery right where it is found. It is illegal to dig for or remove any artifacts or to do anything that will damage the site in anyway.

We had hiked further up the canyon until we came to a large spillover. Near the spillover we roused a pair of owls that began flying back down the canyon in short stages. On the hike out as we would once again approach where they had landed and each time they would move a little further along. Near the mouth of the canyon I mounted a zoom lens and managed to get one good photo. You can see it much better if you click on the image and enlarge it.

The canyon that this ruin is in has three good potholes that hold quite a bit of water which probably made it a well known site back in the day. There is another cliff dwelling that is higher up on Comb Ridge that we never made it up to. By the time we found the probable route we were too short on drinking water to do any more exploring so it was decided to put it off until a later date. Moqui House is one of the easier Comb Ridge sites to hike and has enough to see to make it well worth the time. The only real issues are finding the trailhead and the best route in and out of the wash. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.