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mini location map2015-04-26
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MoonhouseSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Backpack avatar Apr 26 2015
Backpack18.00 Miles 600 AEG
Backpack18.00 Miles2 Days         
600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
When I applied for the permit, I told the rangers I couldn't get my rental car close enough to do this as a dayhike and asked how I could do it within regulations as a backpack. They said I could camp on the Mesa (above the rim) at any established site, of which there weren't many.

On Saturday afternoon, I tested how far I could get the car, which was only a couple miles in from the highway. After a late breakfast and some more recon the next day, I stashed the car before the first bad section of road and started started hoofing it under cloudy skies, light drizzle, plummeting temps and steady rain, sleet and snow, then blazing sun. There were only a few well-used camping spots on the way, and none very close, so I went all the way to the rim. Everything in the area was marked "no camping", so I slogged back 1.5 miles to well-used site a few hundred yards south of the drill pad (old parking area).

I got up at dawn and rushed back to the canyon to beat the crowds. The ruin itself was everything I expected and more, with several more sites up-canyon and down, which I explored most thoroughly. I'm fairly certain I found at least one viable route in from the North Rim. That might have been quite convenient 700 years ago, but not so much today.

I spent a little more time going back and forth to compare building techniques between the ruins. After a little too long soaking it all in, the hordes arrived just as I was ready to leave. The first handful were some (other) wiry old guys, but progress was stalled by two visitors (wearing sandals) who freaked out at the step-down on the slickrock and were too scared to move up or down. Their guide got them down after 20 minutes, and I was back in business. They were part of a large group, of which there were now 15 people at the ruin, so I was glad to have started so early. Although the traffic jam at the step-off tried my patience, it did allow one of wiry old guys to catch up to me earlier on the long road-walk back, and he graciously offered me a bumpy ride back to my car, which I shamelessly accepted.

I'm really glad I finally visited Moonhouse, but I wish I had done so before it became viewed as just a quick jaunt from the parking area.

ETA: The photoset is a little disjointed. I was going back and forth like a crazy man, thinking maybe I missed something, or wanting to get a preview to think about before I took a closer look. I tried to resequence it a bit, but left in some of the manic switching.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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