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Moon House Trail

Intermediate
 4.5 (2)

A short route down and then up to the main Moon House Ruin.


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Map Key

0.6

Miles

0.9

KM

Point to Point

5,802' 1,769 m

High

5,561' 1,695 m

Low

44' 14 m

Up

242' 74 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (5°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views

Please Respect and Protect archaeological sites, they are fragile! Stay on trail, don’t move artifacts, and stay off walls. Report looting and vandalism: 1 800 722 3998

To visit Moon House Ruin you must have a permit from the Kane Gulch Visitor Center. Permits are limited to 20 per day. For more information on permits, click here.

Description

This short trail is used to access the main Moon House ruin from the parking area at the end of the Moon House Approach road. The trail is marked by cairns, so just keep an eye open and you shouldn't lose your way.

The trail starts out pretty flat, heading through scrubby pinyon pine, juniper, and rabbitbrush. Stick to the rocks and marked trail to make sure you don't damage the dark (and alive!) cryptobiotic soil in the area.

The canyon rim opens up suddenly and impressively from the flat ground that you have been hiking. Be sure to look across the canyon to see if you can spot the ruins as it is truly impressive to see them perched on the far side of the canyon wall.

From here the drop into the canyon is steep. You'll be crossing several large slabs of slickrock and a couple tight switchbacks with loose rock. There is one section that will require jumping (or scooting) down a small ledge onto a stack of rocks that others have kindly stacked to make for an easier descent/ascent.

At just under half a mile, the trail will drop to the canyon floor. Depending on the time of year there may be water flowing in the small creek or there may just be some pools of water and a dry creek bed to cross. There are several massive black and red striated boulders on the canyon floor and a cool overhang to explore. Gaze around to find the looming hoodoos.

From here, it is just a short, quick uphill with one tiny section of scrambling to reach the main Moon House Ruin. These Anasazi dwellings, pictographs and storage bins are ancient and obviously should not be touched or bumped. Do not take any materials. Be sure to allow plenty of time to explore the ruin and surrounding area before heading back the way you came.

Flora & Fauna

Pinyon pine, juniper, rabbitbrush, yucca, and cactus. Cottonwoods and some wildflowers such as asters and daisies down by the creek bed. Lots of small lizards on the rocks.

Shared By:

Kristen Arendt

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#3

in Cedar Mesa

#6592

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#3

in Cedar Mesa

#271

in Utah

#6,592

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1,316 Since Oct 7, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

Moon House ruins with the Hiking Project Team.
Oct 5, 2016 near Blanding, UT
Descending the canyon to access the ruins.
Oct 5, 2016 near Blanding, UT
Inside the Moon House Ruins.
Nov 10, 2016 near Blanding, UT
A sweet rock formation greets you as you near the ruins.
Nov 10, 2016 near Blanding, UT
Dropping into the canyon before heading up the other side to the ruins.
Nov 10, 2016 near Blanding, UT
View from the ground
May 11, 2018 near Blanding, UT

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