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Horsecollar Ruin Overlook, UT

Guide 8 Triplogs  0 Topics
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HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,128 feet
Elevation Gain 20 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 0.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 0.6
Interest Ruins
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
3  2019-02-15 Stoic
23  2017-10-05
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13  2011-05-17
Sipapu Bridge
16  2011-04-01
Sipapu-Owachomo Loop Trail
5  2009-05-19 hippiepunkpirate
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 225
Photos 5,981
Trips 1,093 map ( 2,433 miles )
Age 40 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Oct, Sep, Apr → Any
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:23am - 7:29pm
0 Alternative

Short hike - big drop at the end!
by PaleoRob

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Nautral Bridges National Monument, in southeastern Utah, contains a wide variety and large number of ancient, prehistoric artifacts, dwellings, and art. Very few of these are easily visible by the general public. One exception to this, however, is Horsecollar Ruin. A well maintained trail, described elsewhere, takes intrepid hikers to the ruin itself. For those with limited time, or perhaps unable to make the trek to the bottom of the canyon, there is another option.

Horsecollar Ruin Overlook trail is a short trail that leaves from the signed Horsecollar Ruin parking lot along the main park drive. Leaving the parking area, the trail parallels the rim of Armstrong Canyon, just out of sight to the north. The trail rises gently up over a slickrock dome, and through a stunted Pinion-Juniper forest. The trail is sandy at times, but presents no real difficulties. After passing through the sandy area, you crest the slickrock dome and descend back towards the canyon rim. Armstrong Canyon stretches in front of you. The trail ends at a guardrail-enclosed viewing area.

Horsecollar Ruin lays small below you, to the center-left, in an alcove dwarfed by the caprock above. It is a typical Cedar Mesa Pueblo III period dwelling, built just prior to the abandonment of the Colorado Plateau by the Anasazi around 1300. Horsecollar Ruin gets its name from an unusual, unroofed structure that has two horse collar shaped doorways. No one seems to know what purpose this structure served. There is evidence of many fires being built in this structure. It differs from all known Anasazi kilns. Any ideas?

Another neat feature of Horsecollar is a square kiva, built without mortar, that still has its original roof. When first discovered, the kiva even had its original ladder poking out of the entry hole! There is no access into the kiva now, and the ladder is at the Edge of the Cedars Museum in Blanding, Utah.

Once you finish surveying the beautiful scene of the ruin and Armstrong Canyon below you, return to your car the same way you arrived.

There is no water on this hike, be sure to fill your water bottles at the Visitor's Center before leaving it.

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2007-12-24 PaleoRob
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Natural Bridges National Monument
    $6 per car (Good for 7 days) Entrance Fee

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Blanding, Utah, take Utah Route 95 west, following the signs to Natural Bridges National Monument. Turn left on Utah Route 275 (also signed for Natural Bridges). Enter the Monument, and stop at the visitor's center to pay the fee. Continue down the road to the T-junction and turn right on the one-way Bridge View loop road. Park at the paved turn-out, signed for Horsecollar Ruin, between Sipapu and Kachina Bridge trailheads.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
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