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Cold Spring Cave Ruins, UT

Guide 3 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 1.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,703 feet
Elevation Gain 80 feet
Accumulated Gain 203 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.02
Interest Ruins & Historic
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16  2016-05-05 AZLOT69
30  2014-05-12 CannondaleKid
30  2008-05-16
Comb Ridge
Author CannondaleKid
author avatar Guides 43
Routes 141
Photos 21,934
Trips 2,261 map ( 17,564 miles )
Age 71 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, Mar, Nov
Sun  5:24am - 7:25pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

'Cool' cave ruins
by CannondaleKid

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A short and relatively easy hike to a reasonably large 'cave' ruin site.

This is an ruin site so please treat it with respect. That said however, very typical of most ruin sites in southeastern Utah there are VERY few artifacts are left to be found with the majority having been removed many years ago.

The Comb area was inhabited by the Anasazi (Ancient Puebloan) between 800 and 2,000 years ago. This cave was visited in 1892 by the the ill-fated/under-funded Illustrated American Exploration Expedition when they engraved 1892 Cold Spring Cave I.A.E.E. onto a boulder near the right end of the cave.

The Cold Spring Cave trail crosses Butler Wash and follows a narrow canyon westward into Comb Ridge.
Follow the old Jeep road from the trailhead about a quarter mile where you will turn left onto a well-worn trail. As you head toward the mouth of Cold Spring Canyon you will want to stay on the left above the canyon floor for a while to avoid the thick vegetation in the wash. Just over 3/4 mile you will reach a fork. Turn right at the fork and continue up the side canyon about a quarter mile to the ruin site.

The site itself is reasonably large, taking up the full extent of the rock overhang.
The walls are in various states of deterioration, with the more complete ones retaining their mortar. It appears there was also a kiva at the site.

The main areas of interest are the variety of petroglyphs and hand pictographs on the lower walls. While very few potsherds are left to be found at the site, we saw thousands of bits of pottery alongside the old Jeep Road, likely washed out of the canyon over the centuries.

Turning left at the fork (where you turned right to visit the ruins) will take you up to the head of the canyon where you can curve to the north (right) around the headland and head back down the next canyon to the north and make a loop of the hike. This will double the length of the hike but it will take you past the 'Eagle's Nest' cliff dwellings high un on the canyon wall. Being so high up they are easy to miss, so I climbed about 100' up the south canyon wall to get a better look at them.

Water Sources

Dispersed car camping along Butler Wash is free and thus quite popular.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2014-05-23 CannondaleKid
    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 $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Bluff, Utah, take US Hwy 163 west about 5-1/4 miles to the junction with San Juan Cty Rd 262/269A. Turn right (north) onto CR 262 (Lower Butler Wash Road) and continue 7.1 miles. Turn onto a narrow dirt road the angles off to the left and follow it for less than 100 yards to the trailhead. TH Lat/Long: 37.36415 -109.62744
    page created by CannondaleKid on May 23 2014 10:37 am
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