Remnant Ruin

Round Trip Distance: 2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5823 - 6016 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 2 hrs.
Trailhead: UT-95 MM 81.3
Fee: none
Attractions: cliff dwelling, rock art

The Remnant Ruin is located in the Natural Bridges National Monument west of Blanding, Utah. The site sits on a high bench in a branch of Armstrong Canyon. While the site has a near perfect granary that is lacking only a door there is only a remnant of what originally was probably a large panel of pictographs. Off to the side of the granary and pictographs is a former habitation site and the ruins of what may have originally been a kiva.

There are about 4 different routes that we know of for reaching the Remnant Ruin. For this post we are following the shortest and most direct route by beginning at a parking area just south of mile marker 81 on Utah Highway 95. From the east end of the parking area there is a faint cairned route that leads down into the wash that is followed to the ruins.

The cairned route into the wash kinda zigzags back and forth down a terrace of short sandstone benches. Better trails are developed when everyone follows the same route. The current cairned route seems to be well worked out and worth preserving.

Route finding is a little more straight forward once the wash is reached.

There are a couple of places like this spillover where the cairned route briefly leaves the wash to get around the obstacle.

Just past the halfway point the trail crosses the boundary into the Natural Bridges National Monument.

As you proceed down the wash be careful not to follow it too far into the canyon. The ruins are on what looks like the highest bench above the left side of the canyon. Once you pass the point where another short stub canyon connects on the left get up on the bench where there is a well defined trail leading to the ruin. This short stub canyon on the left is also one of the other routes that we mentioned that begins at the trailhead that we used for Atomic Rock and the Red Bear Panel.

The granary always seems to look small in photos but it is probably at least 6 feet wide. Notice on the lower right of the pictographs the fingers and some painted hands. The palms themselves are missing.

The original panel of pictographs was once probably more than 30 feet wide. Unfortunately most of the surface has peeled or dissolved away leaving only a few tantalizing remnants to contemplate.

Off to the side is a natural habitation site that made use of a few large slabs of rock for its outer wall. The ceiling of the overhang is blackened by the smoke of the many fires that were built for cooking and warmth.

In front of the ledge that the boulders are resting upon are the stub walls of what previously may have been a small circular kiva.

We call it a kiva because of 2 small benches that were built along the back wall that resemble benches that are found in more intact kivas.

Everything taken together at the site of the Remnant Ruin makes it rather an interesting place to visit. From the Remnant Ruin a person could continue on around the bench to the Red Bear Panel. By beginning at the trailhead for the Red Bear Panel and Atomic Rock a nice loop could be followed that would incorporate all 3 sites without doing any backtracking.  It is much easier for us to describe this route down the wash that is rather straightforward and offers a high degree of success to follow. However you go about it the routes from Highway 95 are easier in our opinion than the one from the Kachina Bridge trailhead but there are a lot more interesting sites like Ruin Rock and the Kachina Bridge Ruins that can be incorporated into a hike from that trailhead. If you would like to see Remnant Ruin for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.