Life On The Edge
Getting to this trailhead involves climbing to 7900 ft elevation in your vehicle and dropping to 6700 ft at the trailhead. The views, awesome. The hike, awesome. The ruins, incredible. The setting, the headwaters for Arch Canyon.
A well established but unmarked trail starts off along the fence line. It soon comes to slick and smooth pink sandstone. There are many social trails but try to follow the main route following cairns. The idea here is to make a wide backward C pattern off to the right crossing the pink sandstone and coming to a V at the edge of the sandstone.
There was a tree trunk to climb down to the next level when I was there. Once you are down on this bench follow the trail off right again in a large Backward C pattern. You will come to another ledge. There is some exposure from here on out along with some scrambling. Sure footed ness from here out is a plus, it’s about eight hundred feet down to the first solid object.
Looking across the way look in the narrow crevices along the bench to see ruins. Many may stop here. If you are up to it look over the edge and left to see a very narrow ramp going down with a juniper tree growing out of the crack. This will be your only real handhold. Carefully working your way down to this next bench.
The trail is pretty obvious now off to the left and very quickly you come to the first ruin with an information, sign in box from the forest service. Rules and some history are also included. Slowly work your way around the bench, past a dripping spring with hanging garden, more ruins, several more ruins, and a great Kiva. Many times you are only feet or inches from the edge. Not for the faint. Had your fill ? Return the way you came.
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.