WasatchWill

Mar 29, 2016

Seven Kivas

Last month my Jessica and I were able to spend a day down in Cedar Mesa hiking out to a few different sites. Some secret, some not so secret.  This one is not so secret.

Unlike most other ruins nearby, the site for Seven Kivas lies near the bottom of Road Canyon.  What makes this site unique, if it wasn't already obvious by its name, is the fact that there are foundations of seven different kivas all grouped together.

Kivas are known to be special chambers or rooms that were built underground or partially underground where males of the Pueblo (Anasazi) Indians observed and participated in religious rites.

We began from the rim of Road Canyon and followed some cairns that mark the way down to the canyon bottom.  


From there, it was only about a mile or so down canyon before reaching the site on a bench about 40-50 feet from the bottom.


Most of the kivas had been fully collapsed or exposed, but at least one of them remained mostly in tact.






Seeing Jessica down below really gives some perspective to the site.


As is typical with many of the ruin sites in the area, there were some corn cobs and pot sherds scattered about.




As we made our way back up the canyon, we admired the beauty of the trickling stream meandering over the slickrock and other details found along the canyon bottom.








Soon we were making our way back up to the rim where the car awaited us.


If You Go

Road Canyon is one of many canyons draining the eastern side of Cedar Mesa which is located in Southeastern Utah and is managed by the BLM.  Permits are required for hiking this canyon.  Most people will hike to this site as a day hike which requires a $2 per person day-use permit that can be picked up at a self serve kiosk shortly after turning up Cigarette Springs Road from UT Highway 261.  The trailhead we used is located at the end of a northward spur road from Cigarette Springs Road about 6 miles from UT 261.  A high-clearance vehicle is needed to access this trailhead.

More information, including links to current weather conditions, permit requirements, and more can be found here:

http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/monticello/recreation/permits/grand_gulch_and_cedar.html

If you go, please respect the ruin sites and leave everything as you found them so that future visitors can enjoy the same experience with what remains.

2 comments:

  1. I'm always amazed that you can still find Maize from hundreds of years ago at these ruins! This area looks really pretty. -Alicia @ www.girlonahike.com

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    1. The dry desert conditions are such that so many of these ruins and artifacts can be so well preserved the way they are. It really is a pretty canyon as are so many others down there. I wonder if that water flowing through there the way it was is normal for this time of year or if it was a product of the El Nino winter that produced all the above average snow that area got this year.

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About Will

Will Will lives at the footsteps of Utah's famed Wasatch Mountains. He enjoys hiking, camping, backpacking, sports, running, vegetable gardening, nature, food, photography, art, and spending time with his wife and kids.

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