Lime Butte Ruins

Round Trip Distance: 0.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6391 - 6471 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Lime Butte 37.37045, -109.89673
Fee: $5/day/person
Attractions: pueblo ruins

Not too far from the most commonly hiked branch of Lime Canyon, in the Cedar Mesa area of Bears Ears National Monument, west of Blanding, Utah, there is a pueblo that was built on the top of a small butte. Short walls still remain from the various rooms and towers to form a good outline of the pueblo.

The trailhead is right at 50 miles from Blanding. To get to the turnoff find your way to the Kane Gulch Ranger Station to buy the required Cedar Mesa hiking permit and then continue south on Highway 261 for 14 miles. Turn left (east) onto the dirt road right before mile marker 16. (Entering the GPS coordinates for the trailhead into your driving app should get you turn by turn directions.)

A four wheel drive with high clearance is recommended for this road. From Highway 261 follow it for 1.3 miles to where the main road turns sharply to the left. This is as good a place as any to park. The butte can be seen about 600 feet away sticking up above the trees.

After heading in the direction of the butte a faint trail should become apparent. The trail almost disappears in a couple of spots but being able to see the butte up ahead makes route finding easy enough.

The easiest route up to the top of the butte is to hike around to the east side where very little, if any, scrambling is needed.

The first ruin that comes up is a circular structure that is not attached to the main block of rooms.

It seems like there were 9 rooms at least in the main block of the pueblo.

Another circular room that may have been a tower occupies the highest point of the butte. From here there are commanding views of the surrounding area. There are towers at several other sites to the east that might have a line of sight with this one.

With a pair of binoculars there are several ruins that are visible in the nearby branch of Lime Canyon.

What we are calling the Lime Butte Ruins are easy to get to if you have a vehicle that can manage the road. Most of the road is pretty good but there are a couple of spots with high sloping ruts that smaller wheel bases can probably straddle without even slowing down much. The ruins themselves are interesting to contemplate and well worth visiting for those that are already in the area. If you would like to see them for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.