Hidden Ruin & Granary

Round Trip Distance: 0.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6126 - 6164 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 20 mins.
Trailhead: Beef Basin Road MM 7.1
Fee: none
Attractions: cliff dwelling, granary

Just past the turnoff to the Fable Valley trailhead along the Beef Basin Loop, northwest of Monticello, Utah, there are the ruins of a small 2 room cliff dwelling and a well intact granary that are both within an hundred feet or so from the road. Both can be hard to spot unless their locations are known and are more easily missed if driving around the loop in the clockwise direction.

From the junction kiosk in lower House Park take the road to the left toward Stanley Spring.

At the 3.3 mile point the road passes through a 5-way intersection at the mouth of Ruin Canyon. Continuing straight to the 6.1 mile point the Beef Basin Loop route turns sharply to the right. The trail to the left at this point leads a short distance to a medium sized pueblo that overlooks the head of South Canyon.

From the sharp turn the road has to negotiate a small wash and some deep ruts. At the 7 mile point there is another road that branches off on the left leading to the Fable Valley trailhead. This is the upper trailhead for Fable Valley and I believe the route taken by the Hayduke trail. It also provides access to the Fable Valley ruins and rock art sites.

A short distance past the Fable Valley turnoff the road begins slightly descending as it crosses a sandstone ridge that is on the right. There is a wide spot in the slickrock that makes a good place to park out of the way and hike the short distance to the ruins.

Work your way up the hill from the road toward the small alcoves that are mostly hidden by the trees.

The granary, which is sitting snuggly beneath an overhand, quickly comes into view.

For a close up photo you will need to scramble up a short slope of slickrock and get within the small alcove.

The ruins are in another alcove that is a little further from the road right at 100 feet along the cliff. We dropped back down to the road, spotted the likely looking spot for the ruins, and then climbed back up the side of the hill. (We say 'climb' but it is really a very short distance and not at all steep.)

Beneath the overhang of the cliff are several alcoves and small caves all in a row that each show some signs of activity at one time or other. This part of the overhang has the ruins of 2 rooms that share a common wall.

There is one log left that would have been used in the roof. An interesting aspects of the ruins is that they face away from the sun and are in perpetual year round shade leading us to suppose that at this high altitude they were probably only occupied during the warm months of the year.

We found no other ruins in the immediate area. Continuing on around the loop from here the road is about the same until a little past the spot on the map where we marked the Knoll Rubble which is a very minor site. Past that there is a place in the road that is currently almost impassable due to ruts that are several feet deep. Kelsey's map of Beef Basin shows ruins near the next 90 degree corner where the road turns back toward the east. We didn't notice anything obvious and didn't spend any time looking in that area. Our recommendation is to consider turning around either here or at the next sharp turn and go back the way that you came or be prepared to turn around at the deep ruts. Of course, if a person had a good shovel they could take the time to do a little road repair and fill in the ruts. As far as the Hidden Ruin and Granary go, if you would like to see them for yourself all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.