Middle Park Minor Ruins

Round Trip Distance: 4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6488 - 6600 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hrs. 30 mins.
Trailhead: CR 1111
Fee: none
Attractions: mostly pottery shards

Within the greater Beef Basin area northwest of Monticello, Utah there are 3 minor ruins that can be found on the south side of the divide that is crossed by San Juan County Road 1111 between Ruin Park and Middle Park. Remnants of the ruins are very meager and probably more evident by the amounts of pottery shards that are extant at each site than any obvious former structures.

To get there find your way to the main junction of County Roads 104 and 119 in lower House Park. Reset your odometer and turn right onto CR 119 heading toward Ruin Park.

Near the half mile point turn left onto the unmarked CR 1111.

This photo is typical of the road for the first 0.9 miles. At that point the road turns sharply to the left and begins a gentle climb. For this post we are going to mention the 3 ruins in the order in which we discovered them which was first with the site furthest from the turnoff onto CR 1111.

At the 1.3 mile point there is a shallow wash that comes down toward the road. Hike away from the road in the uphill direction for a few hundred feet to find the site.

An hundred feet or so up the incline from the road large amounts of potsherds can be seen scattered all around on the ground.

The large amount and styles of pottery seems to indicate a long period of at least seasonal occupation.

At least one obvious rubble pile shows the existence of a previous structure.

The second site was near the inside corner of the 90 degree bend in the road right at the 1 mile point from CR 119. There isn't much in the way of a former structure that is discernible other than a small rubble pile.

Close visual examination of the ground surface reveals a small number of pottery shards.

The third site was the hardest of all to find. We aren't sure whether there was a pithouse here or something else. We aren't even 100% certain that this is in fact the third minor ruin that we were searching for but it is all that we could find in the target area.

 Numerous small shards of pottery are the only obvious signs of past activity.

We searched out these sites and make mention of them now because they are shown on a map in the book 'Hiking, Biking and Exploring Canyonlands National Park and Vicinity' by Michael Kelsey. Anyone that is familiar with his books and the maps they contain knows how difficult some of them can be used to any advantage. They usually serve by giving a general enough idea to be useful. We recommend visiting these minor ruins to anyone that would like to gain the experience of discovering those that are less obvious. The sites should be much easier to find by downloading our GPX file and making use of that. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.