Junction Ruins

Round Trip Distance: 800 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6438 - 6459 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 15 mins.
Trailhead: Kiosk Junction
Fee: none
Attractions: pueblo ruins

This post is for a couple of  small pueblo type ruins that can be found within a few hundred feet of the information kiosk at the junction of the Beef Basin and Ruin Park roads northwest of Monticello, Utah. 

After having found your way to the junction of the Beef Basin and Ruin Park Roads park near the information kiosk.

While standing in front of the registration box look between the sign and the kiosk. The ruins can't really be seen from here but they are on the short outcrop of sandstone a short distance away.

At the base of the sandstone outcrop there are the faint remains of a room that was built down on the ground right up against the outcrop.

Just above that room, on top of the sandstone outcrop, are the short walls of another room. This room has trees growing up all around it plus even one that has sprung up within its walls.

Another larger room can be found 20 or 30 feet away.

All of the structures appear to have been constructed without the use of mortar using the dry stack method.

In the arid climate of the Beef Basin the pinon trees probably don't grow more than 2" per year and possibly even less. It might be that when these structures were built they didn't have the shelter of the current trees and were more out in the open. Back then buffalo and other game animals may have grazed where the cattle do now and the grass may have been much higher. Although we haven't seen any early written records from this exact area it's not uncommon to read in the journals of early settlers in eastern Utah and western Colorado that the grass was up to the stirrups of their horses when they first arrived on the scene.

Small ruin sites like this one are super easy to miss. Once you find one it makes you wonder how many more you have driven by without noticing. We just barely got a glimpse of what looked like a pile of rocks while driving back from Ruin Park. Since we were cataloging sites and had a little time we decided to get a closer look and were surprised to find more than just a small pile of rocks. If you would like to see them for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.