Hilltop Ruin

Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6401 - 6448 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Hilltop Ruin
Fee: none
Attractions: Ancestral puebloan ruin

The Hilltop Ruin is located in the Ruin Park area of Beef Basin which is just south of the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park and 67 miles northwest of Monticello, Utah. The site consists of an Ancestral Puebloan pueblo type dwelling that includes multiple rooms and a kiva.

To get there travel north on Highway 191 from Monticello, Utah for 14.3 miles and turn west at the signs for Newspaper Rock and Canyonlands National Park. If coming from the other direction the turnoff is about 40 miles south of Moab. Continue for another 20.2. miles and turn left onto CR 107, the Bridger Jack Mesa/Beef Basin Road. There is a restroom and staging area with lots of parking at the turnoff. Follow CR 107 for 25.4 miles and turn right onto CR 104/aka FR 093. The sign at the turn says 12 miles to Beef Basin. We measured 9.4 miles to the sign in this photo. We strongly recommend 4wd with extra gas and since the area is so remote maybe even a shovel. From here zero your odometer and turn right toward Ruin Park.

The turnoff from the Ruin Park Road to the Farmhouse Ruins is at the 3.7 mile point from the main junction. If you have just visited the Castle Ruins it will be the second road on the left. The first faint road being the CR 111 4wd route that crosses the divide and reconnects to CR 111 near the main junction.

Continue down the Farmhouse Road to about the 0.4 mile point where there is a fork in the road across from a water trough. Take left fork which leads up to the Hilltop Ruins.

Follow this spur road for 0.3 miles to the trailhead.

The main block consists of a large round tower, on the left, and a rectangular room with 2 openings on the right. The tower has at least one piece of log sticking through the wall so it was apparently divided into floors. The logs between the floors must have been located in the 2 opposite walls that have fallen away.

This is the inside of the rectangular room with the 2 small doors. We were expecting to see 2 separate rooms, each with its own door, when we looked over the wall instead of a single large room.

It appears there was a line of rooms along one edge forming an L-shape with the tower block. We haven't come across a lot of ruins where different colors of stone were used to create patterns. It's kinda cool to see a colorful touch of artistic design.

There is a small granary or storage cyst that still has a flat rock over the door. Usually the flat rock is the first thing to go but here the dirt is holding it in place while most of the rest of the rocks have collapsed.

This kiva is situated on the edge of the hill in front of the ruins.

And this was their view looking off to the north and east.

The Hilltop Ruins have a few unique features that make them well worth checking out plus they are easy to get to and are only slightly out of the way when going to the Farmhouse Ruins. If you would like to see it for yourself all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.