Fallen Roof Ruin

Cedar Mesa Plateau is home to amazingly well-preserved and the largest concentration of Anasazi ruins in the Four Corners region of the Desert Southwest.  The last leg of our trip was spent in the small town of Bluff, Utah, with numerous easily-accessible sites nearby to visit.  We started our first full day there with a trip up Highway 261 through the Valley of the Gods, to the top of the mesa, and on to Cigarette Springs Road where we would eventually park at a trailhead for a short hike to Fallen Roof Ruin.  

Sometimes referred to as Three Room Ruin (for obvious reasons), this site has really withstood the test of time as well as the numerous visitors over the years.  One of the most striking features, and the origin of its namesake, is the large slabs of sandstone that have peeled off from the overhanging canyon and fallen to the ground below.  

Upon close inspection of the site (actually when Bob pointed it out), one can see handprints on the sandstone roof left behind by the former inhabitants.

It was a perfect day for the hike into Road Canyon for our visit to these ruins.  After paying the requisite day-use fee, the hike begins in a pinyon and juniper forest, and slowly descends to the canyon floor.  There was no shortage of beauty along this trail, and plenty of stops were made to grab some shots along the way.  

This cactus seemed to be growing right out of the rock

After spending a little time at Fallen Roof Ruin, we made our way further down canyon along the cliff face.  A number of ancient granaries and small rooms were visible in alcoves eroded into the Cedar Mesa Sandstone.