Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Moon House Ruins in McCloyd Canyon

For our last hike in the Cedar Mesa area of SE Utah, we decided to go to the Kane Gulch Ranger Station to see if we could get one of the 20 permits/day to hike to the Moon House Ruins in McCloyd Canyon. We arrived when the ranger station and had no problems getting our permits on a weekday. We would not see any other hikers (4) until we were almost back to the trailhead.
We did drive all the way to the trailhead on this rough slick rock road. This is a 3.2 mile round trip hike with about 400 ft of overall loss/gain.
View looking down into McCloyd Canyon
The trail goes down into the canyon
There are some narrow sections of trail with steep exposure. Here there is also a scramble down off this ledge onto a pile of not very steady stones

As the trail went across this ledge, we could see the middle area of the Moon House Ruins across the canyon in an alcove.
Near the bottom of the canyon, the trail goes between these two huge boulders.
Large pinnacles near the ruins
heading up towards the ruins
a small stone window is in a rock as we climbed up to the ruins.
Views of the ruins in the middle area.

We were allowed to enter this one door, being careful only to touch the floor and not the walls of the ruins.
Through the door, we were in an interior courtyard.
We could look into, but not enter, the interior ruins
painting inside one of the interior rooms
painting on the outside of one of the interior rooms

windows and doorway on the exterior wall
exterior views of this middle section of ruins

Staying up on the ledge, we hiked out to the east to see more ruins.

Views of these other ruins

We continued out to end of this ledge.

views of McCloyd Canyon

We hiked back to the middle area where the main ruins are, then headed west.

Here the trail drops down towards the canyon floor before going back up on a ledge to the ruins on the west side of the main ruins
views of these other ruins

looking back towards the east, the main ruins are located on the other side of those large rock formations on the left.
traveling around the rock formations where the main Moon House Ruins are located

back to section of the trail where we need to scramble up the ledge.
be careful stepping up on this unsteady pile of stones
another view of McCloyd Canyon as we return towards the trailhead

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Slickhorn Canyon

We headed out to Slickhorn Canyon on Cedar Mesa to do a short exploratory hike. Rain was predicted to come around noon, so we wanted to be off the trail and red dirt roads before then. We would do a 4.5 mile round trip with about 300 ft of overall gain. We didn't see any other hikers on the trail or cars on this road.
We started at Access road #1 to enter Slickhorn Canyon in the first fork.
The beginning of this wash is a very gentle decent.
There are some interesting boulders to hike under
and between
beautiful sandstone walls

lovely swirling patterns in the sandstone
some large rock formations
We followed the cairns up the east side of the canyon to get around the very large and steep pour out in the canyon.
We weren't sure where the steep switchbacks leading back down into the canyon were

Because of the impending rain and our turn around time, we left before descending down into this portion of the canyon.
I hope to return one day to hike further down into this gorgeous canyon.

We decided to stay on the bottom of the wash on our hike back out. We found some water holes
and hiked up the easier pour offs

Some of the wildflowers and flora we saw this morning: