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The Comb - Monarch Cave, UT

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Guide 6 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List UT > Southeast
4.3 of 5 by 4
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 2 of 5
Distance One Way 0.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,649 feet
Elevation Gain 116 feet
Accumulated Gain 175 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 1.38
Interest Ruins & Historic
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15  2018-04-14 Steph_and_Blake
49  2018-04-13
Nine Days - Cedar Mesa Comb Ridge (Part 2)
33  2015-05-01 big_load
36  2013-05-17 CannondaleKid
30  2008-05-16
Comb Ridge
Author CannondaleKid
author avatar Guides 43
Routes 137
Photos 20,492
Trips 1,898 map ( 15,608 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Canyon Country - Monticello BLM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, Mar, Nov
Sun  6:01am - 6:25pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Overview: Another of the myriad of Anasazi ruin sites along The Comb accessed from Butler Wash Road. Like most, this is a simple hike west up a wash until to reach the ruin site, returning by the same route.

Warning: While Butler Wash Road can be traveled by car when dry that can change very quickly, with rain turning it into a muddy quagmire. Due to this, BLM may close the road whenever conditions warrant it.

History: See Rob's description for the Hole house Ruin for details.

Hike: Like all the hikes along Butler Wash Road, there are no signs designating specific trail heads. Monarch Cave TH is roughly 6.9 miles north of US 163 on a short spur on the west side of Butler Wash Road. Because there are small spurs just north & south of Monarch TH, your best bet is locate it by GPS coordinates. (We camped for a week just south of Monarch and had quite a few folks turning in only to find they missed the TH.)

The hike begins from the TH by crossing Butler Wash and following a reasonably easy-to-follow trail up the wash. NOTE: With a number of trails leading north & south along the wash it is recommended you have a GPS route to keep you on the trail. Once you have passed through the wash it's simply a matter of continuing up the wash until you reach the ruin site. Beware of poison ivy along the trail as you near the ruin site.

The site is pretty good sized with a variety of items of interest, from the structures to the petroglyphs as well as artifacts. But be forewarned, due to many of the sites being plundered since the late 19th and early 20th century, don't expect to find much.

Water Sources: No reliable sources

Camping: Dispersed camping is available all along Butler Wash Road. BLM requires signing in at boxes on either north or south end of Butler Wash Road including information of the number of people and the length of time you expect to stay.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2014-07-30 CannondaleKid

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    The Comb - Monarch Cave
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    After a night of town food, hot tub, and hotel comfort, I was ready for one last ruin. This was unfinished business, since Mrs. big_load and were here one cold, windy day last November. I hadn't known that there was a track posted on HAZ, so we wound up in the wrong little canyon, then climbed up on the ridge high enough to see the ruins. I just couldn't find a short way down, and daylight was waning.

    I still didn't have the track this time. I knew exactly where to go, but I wasn't starting from the commonly-used TH, so there was still some wandering. Eventually I found the beaten path, which led quickly to the head of the canyon. The first thing visible are some minor wall remains, which led me to what I found most interesting: an enormous but quite weathered petroglyph panel. The density is low compared to some others, but the length from one end to the other is unbelievable. I spent half an hour studying it.

    Following the rock art, I eventually got within sight of the ruin. I was astonished to discover that what I had seen from above last fall was just a little side complex. The main complex was much larger than I had heard. There was all kinds of great stuff to see, including many pictographs (some in turquoise!) and metates. Unfortunately, there were also flocks of people approaching. The first guy was another wiry desert rat from New Mexico. We had a pleasant conversation and life remained wonderful, but the next group were town people wearing town clothes and town shoes. They didn't seem to know much about what they were looking at, so I pointed out a few things. They liked stone walls, but didn't care much about petroglyphs, metates or turquise pictographs, so I knew it was time to leave.

    After I got back to the car, it was time to clean up and change back into my own town clothes and town shoes. Traffic was building up on Butler Wash Road and vacation was just about over. :(

    (Photos now in)
    The Comb - Monarch Cave
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    After four Utah trips including numerous hikes along The Comb (3 more the same day as this hike) and over a year since doing this hike, there is little I can recall other than it was a fairly quick out-and-back hike, with some wandering off-trail in both directions.

    So... I'll let the photos do the talking.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    Take US 163 about 4 miles west from Bluff to Butler Wash Road and turn right (north), continuing about 6.9 miles to the TH.
    page created by CannondaleKid on Jul 30 2014 11:51 am
    2+ mi range whistle
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