http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: San Juan Hill and River House Ruins

Sunday, April 26, 2015

San Juan Hill and River House Ruins

I wish we had a dollar for every time one of us said, “wow, or what a great day, or how in the world did those pioneers do this!”  We did have a spectacular day—we loaded all four ATVs into our trailer which Larry then pulled with his Dodge.  We traveled less than five miles from our campsite at Sand Island to the trailhead.  From then on it was a constant chorus of “WOW!” 

IMG_1493The next photo does not do justice to the steepness of the route the Mormon pioneers took—Combs Ridge was the last major obstacle—seven teams (probably 14 horses) were used to pull each wagon up this steep incredibly rocky slope!! 


We hiked up a portion of this route and it was so steep you could feel the pull of gravity—I can’t imagine how teams of horses managed to pull loaded wagons up that slope! 

Next up was River House Ruins—having visited ruins in Mesa Verde National Park and others such as Montezumas Castle National Monument it was amazing to be able to walk around in these ancient dwellings.  There is a BLM sign asking you to respect these ruins and it appears most visitors have done so.  As we were walking along the rock ledge which might have served as the native’s “patio” it began to rain.  We took shelter inside the ruins and experienced how perfectly situated this home was—so quiet you could almost hear the former residents talking!

IMG_1505IMG_1510-001IMG_1515IMG_1542IMG_1545There were many petroglyphs inside the dwelling and along the rock wall of the ledge. 

IMG_1517IMG_1547IMG_1537Once the rain stopped we left this special place and headed off to see some more rock art—Kachina Panel and the Butler Wash panel.  Hundreds of petroglyphs on the walls of these canyons.


IMG_0036IMG_0098A very special day spent with special friends in spectacular country!  The guys cooked tonight treating us to a great dinner at Cottonwood Steakhouse.  Life is very good!


  1. Wow indeed! What a treat to have a short rain fall, making the red rock even more vivid. That shot just above the petroglyph pics is fabulous, you really captured the beauty of both the dwelling and its location. I would love to sit there in the rain, it would be so magical. So glad you're having a great trip.

  2. Glad you had a place to wait out the rain. Neat way to appreciate the area even more. That is an interesting road out to the Butler Wash Panel in a Jeep. The tunnel of brush just allowed us through. You vehicles were perfect for this trip. We did walk to the top of San Juan Hill. The tracks in the rocks were amazing. Did you see the words on the wall about half way up? Dinner out sounds great. We ate there two years ago. Glad you had fun:)

  3. Definitely need to get back up there.


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