The Citadel Cliff Ruins

We set out for some day hiking to explore more native cliff dwelling ruins. A year ago we backpacked Grand Gulch to Bullet Canyon and we’re mesmerized by the geography and the native sites. This year we planned for five full days – a mix of day hiking and backpacking. First stop was a hike out to the Citadel ruin, pictured above. It is on a peninsula jutting into Road Canyon on the southeast side of the mesa.

It might be hard to visualize the peninsula, so maybe the above photo will help. While none of the hikes to visit these ruins are technical (you aren’t allowed to use ropes for this purpose in Cedar Mesa), most are difficult. That’s Julie in the photo. Lots of scrambling and side traversing over slick rock required.

It is the little details like you see above that keep us hunting for these ruins. This is the top of a door frame on the Citadel and you can see the wood support held by reed twine. That support rig is likely about 1,000 years old.

Camping in the Valley of the Gods

We lucked into one of the most spectacular camping sites we’ve ever had. Needing a home base for some Cedar Mesa day hike we searched in the Campendium app for local BLM dispersed camping and noticed the many five star ratings. We found a spot right at the northern end of the scenic, rough road through the value. The structures here are comparable to Monument Valley, though more spread apart. We arrived late morning which was the right place – spaces fill up quickly.

There’s decent hiking around here but the good stuff is up on the Mesa. More on our adventures there in a future post.

We were treated to some beautiful sunrise and sunsets. The photo above was taken from our camping site.

Arches National Park

I’ve been remote for the past 5-6 days without signal. Time for more updates. I’ve got about five more to go.

Our focus this trip isn’t the big national parks (other than Grand Canyon) but we were camping so close to Arches that we dropped in for two evening hikes.

This photo is the courthouse towers. The Park Avenue hike along them is easy and very scenic.

Mountain Biking Near Moab

Today was our first mountain biking adventure in Moab and, frankly, the first mountain biking we’ve done in 20+ years. We chose an intermediate adventure with Rim Tours and it was perfect for us. Our route took us along the west side of Arches and included some decent climbing and plenty of slick rock traversing. And I only fell twice, and neither time was into a canyon!