Bench Ruins

Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6180 - 6228 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 20 mins.
Trailhead: Beef Basin Bench
Fee: none
Attractions: pueblo ruins

Two separate pueblo type ruins can be found near the road on a short bench on the south side of Beef Basin northwest of Monticello, Utah. Both ruins sit right on the edge of the bench, which is about 50 feet higher than the road, and have good views of the southern side of Beef Basin.

From the kiosk junction at the lower end of House Park follow the road to the left toward Stanley Spring and Beef Basin.

Several intersections come up enroute to Beef Basin. The one in this photo is of a 5-way intersection at the mouth of Ruin Canyon that is 3.3 miles from House Park.

At the 2.2 mile point from the 5-way junction, or 5.5 miles from House Park, there is a short stub road on the left, or south side, of the road. Straight ahead the walls of a small ruin are visible on the bench above the trailhead. There is another ruin just off to the right a couple hundred feet that is harder to pick out.

From the trailhead there are several routes up onto the short bench. Some require a little scrambling but others are easy enough to walk up.

The walls were made by stacking flat rocks without the aid of mortar to hold them in place.

Directly across the road is a sandstone ridge. To the right of that is a small outcrop of sandstone that creates a small knoll where there is a good sized pile of rubble. It is labeled Rubble Mound on the map. For perspective, that is House Park Butte near the far right of the photo.

There is no obvious trail to the second ruin but it is only about 180 feet further west along the edge of the bench.

This ruin originally had at least 2 rooms the closest of which in the photo is now all rubble.

This ruin also was of dry stack construction making use of a large, flat top, boulder for part of a wall.

We had taken a photo of a couple of potshards that were laying on a rock. We didn't notice until looking at it on the computer that the one on the left was a little different than most others we had seen in the area. Both pieces are a little rougher than what we typically come across.

It is about as easy to loop your way back to the trailhead than return by the original route and maybe slightly shorter.

We knew of these 2 bench ruins from seeing one of Kelsey's maps of Beef Basin but our original intent was to see a much larger ruin that we had spotted on satellite view that is near the mouth of South Canyon. Being bummed out about missing it we have included a screen shot of it here so others can search it out. From the bench ruins continue driving west to where the Beef Basin Road turns sharply to the right. At that corner there is another route that continues straight and a fainter route that goes to the left. Go to the left here and drive toward the rim of South Canyon. From there hike to your left along the edge of the canyon until you come across the ruins. We added the approximate site to the Beef Basin Overview Map and the exact GPS coordinates to the GPX download included with this post.

As far as the Bench Ruins go, if you would like to see them for yourself all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.