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Seven Kivas - Cedar Mesa - 4 members in 5 triplogs have rated this an average 3.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Sep 08 2016
Steph_and_Blak
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 Guides 98
 Routes 59
 Photos 2,511
 Triplogs 175

70 male
 Joined Nov 21 2015
 Grand Junction,
Seven Kivas - Cedar MesaSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Sep 08 2016
Steph_and_Blake
Hiking2.90 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking2.90 Miles   4 Hrs      0.83 mph
700 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My husband and I drove out to the trailhead on an early fall day and found we had the hike to ourselves. The initial part of the hike involves switchbacks down into Road Canyon. Once on the bottom you hike downcanyon in an easterly direction. I thought at one point I could see a granary high up on the canyon wall on the left, but I couldn't find it on the way back. :cry: I should have dropped a waypoint and taken photos while I could see it. The bottom of the canyon was grassy and an easy walk to the Seven Kivas site. The site is very fragile, so please be careful where you step if you visit it. We saw some small pieces of pottery and a few corn cobs. The hike out was simply a reverse of the way in.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Wild asters
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Stephanie and Blake Barnard
Apr 29 2015
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Seven Kivas - Cedar MesaSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Apr 29 2015
big_load
Hiking7.50 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   5 Hrs      1.50 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After a long day at Fallen Roof and the Citadel, I still wasn't done with Road Canyon. Seven Kivas awaited below for the next day. First I had to hike back to the stashed car and reclaim my campsite up the road. Too late. Somebody beat me to it, but there was another good site there, and I sort of liked the idea of having people around. After switching maps and downing a bunch of Gatorade, I spent the last hour of daylight exploring a wash that will eventually connect Road Canyon to Lime Canyon. (That accounts for the first few photos in this set).

After a twilight meal and a death-like sleep, the sun rose and I rushed off to my slickrock parking spot and the roadwalk to the TH, which accounts for some of the extra miles and AEG. Almost 700 feet of the AEG happens in the first quarter mile, which is a scrambly but well-marked drop from the rim that would be pretty easy for a two-pound rock that doesn't care about its knees. The ruin is a little farther down-canyon than my info led me to believe, so I spent an extra half hour climbing around looking in the wrong (but interesting) places.

The ruin finally came into view, just as I was positive I'd gone too far. I dropped my pack and took scores of pictures. The battery was near depletion and dust coated the lens, but I must have done something else that messed up most of them, so you'll be spared photo overkill.

After absorbing every possible detail, I continued down-canyon about a mile to petroglyph panel I had read about. It covers one side of a large boulder that sits above a plunge pool that's deeply carved enough to get permanent shade. It may have been reliable year-round.

After lunch in the shade of an overhanging ledge, I headed back up-canyon, which was starting to get pretty warm. Between the heat and the hurry, I started running out of steam. Fortunately, a little bit short of the exit, there's a cool, green, shady area filled with what looks like horsetails. I plopped down and took a short nap, possibly without snoring or drooling. In half an hour, I was fully refreshed, enabling me to scramble up the wall 15 minutes faster than I had come down. I took another break on the rim, letting the wind cool and dry me before finished the road walk to the car.

There was still time left in this day, so it's off the next site ...
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Feb 26 2014
AZLOT69
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 Guides 175
 Routes 247
 Photos 7,416
 Triplogs 1,831

68 male
 Joined Feb 12 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Seven Kivas - Cedar MesaSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Feb 26 2014
AZLOT69
Hiking6.20 Miles 957 AEG
Hiking6.20 Miles
957 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Perfect weather. Only ones in the canyon. Log book shows only one visitor in January, one in December.
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It's best for a man to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open his mouth and remove all doubt.
--Mark Twain
Oct 19 2013
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,568
 Triplogs 1,922

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Seven Kivas - Cedar MesaSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Oct 19 2013
CannondaleKid
Hiking4.60 Miles 815 AEG
Hiking4.60 Miles   2 Hrs   29 Mns   1.99 mph
815 ft AEG      10 Mns Break7 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
trixiec
We planned on doing this short hike the last day of our trip in May but after a week of 12-mile hikes we were too tired and said, oh well, next time. Well, it's the last day again, only this time we had broken up our week mixing it with long hikes, short hikes and mountain biking so it was time to git 'er done!

Only one problem... last trip we had the Cherokee which would easily have gotten us to the rim trail-head, but due to a bad oil leak at the last moment we took the Honda Fit. So... let's see how far along Cigarette Springs Road we could get with the Fit, a vehicle low enough to knock over a standing pack of cigarettes.

Well, nothing to do but give it a shot and see. Thankfully due to the government shutdown the road hadn't been traveled much since it was graded after the last heavy rains so we were able to drive the 6.2 miles to the spur road. For the most part it was smooth silty sand except for a few very rocky spots where we had pick our path carefully, crawling past them. When we reached the spur road it was quite obvious we weren't going any farther so parked the Fit there.

Since we're starting at the spur road we'll have an extra 1.6 miles round-trip so we kept a fast pace along the very rough road. At the trail-head we weren't sure exactly where to begin. Although there are two trails, one down to Seven Kivas and one along the rim to The Citadel, there were no signs for either trail. With a number of folks camping nearby, there were footprints going in all directions and who knows which lead to the trail. I'd drawn a very rough route on the GPS so just started walking in the general direction of the rim. Within moments we found some cairns leading downward and so we began the descent. Some parts were obstructed by either boulders or brush and it wasn't very obvious where we were going next. And of course there were a number of creative trails which ended at dead-ends so we had to be vigilant. But of course all we had to do is descend to the canyon floor so whichever way one took, you'd eventually get there.

Once on the canyon floor we turned right and followed the winding canyon to the ruins. This part was quite easy, even with a few pools of water to skirt around. At just under 1.5 miles as you approach a wide curve to the right, look straight ahead and up slightly and there are the ruins. At first glance it seems like the ruins are completely ruined. Of course being kivas they don't stick up above the ground so you had to look closer.

While two of the kivas are more-or-less intact, from photos I'd seen in the past I felt a bit of a let-down. I must have been spoiled by the number of the extensive, more intact ruin sites we've visited in the last year. Ok, take the photos... we started late, added the extra 1.6 miles, it's time to head back and hit the road home.

Although it is a steep climb, it felt much easier on the ascent, partly because we had already come this way and since it was dry, we took the optional route up the slick-rock in a few spots, saving time and effort. About halfway up we encountered a Dad with a girl and boy, maybe 7 & 9 years old. They seemed to be having a tough time... Dad wasn't in best shape and was helping the girl over the obstacles. He asked us is this the Citadel Trail? to which we replied it was not, but rather the Seven Kivas Trail. At that, the boy got pretty irate. He wanted to see the Citadel! At that point we parted ways and continued climbing while they kept going down. Good luck!

A few minutes later we looked back down and saw the three well of the trail and near a dead-end drop off a boulder. Oh well, it's not our job to save everyone from themselves.

On the last part of the climb we saw the back of a pickup sticking out over the rim, which gave us the idea to aim directly for it and cut off about a tenth of a mile the way we came. It worked great and we were back on the spur to the car.

Upon driving from our parking spot the 100 feet back toward Cigarette Springs Road I managed to get the Fit hung up on a rock that appeared flat as I approached but had a 4" drop on the other side. Tracey was not happy her Fit was being hung out to dry. Hey, no big deal, all I had to do was get out, place a few rocks under the front tires, back up and take another path. Now with more than a bit of trepidation Tracey is making doubly sure I'm not going to repeat that little escapade. I wanted to keep mind occupied on something less troubling so told her to shoot a video of our trip along the road. Be forewarned, the video isn't pretty... :scared:
Four-wheeling a Honda Fit video: http://changephoenix.com/jpserver/web/public/file.php?id=623

I posted all but a few photos here on HAZ but the balance are here:
http://changephoenix.com/jpserver/web/public/file.php?id=620
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CannondaleKid
May 18 2008
Randal_Schulha
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 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

59 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Valley of the Gods, UT 
Valley of the Gods, UT
 
Hiking avatar May 18 2008
Randal_Schulhauser
Hiking7.50 Miles
Hiking7.50 Miles   10 Hrs      0.75 mph
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Day 1 - Comb Ridge - see http://hikearizona.com/photocodeZOOM.php?ID=5467

Day 2 - Cedar Mesa - see http://hikearizona.com/photocodeZOOM.php?ID=5489

Day 3 - Sunday May 18th - In direct contrast to the Camp #1 Comb Ridge early morning temperatures (40 degrees F per the Jeep thermometer), Camp #2 Cedar Mesa were absolutely perfect. It was incredibly still during the night with nary a hint of civilization in this remote location - just the faint chirping of crickets and the odd yip from the coyotes. It was my turn on breakfast duty and the first order of the day was to get that coffee brewed! Put the sacrificial strip of bacon into the frying pan and started cooking up the hash browns followed later by the bacon. After breakfast, it was time to break camp and head over to Cigarette Springs Road and Fallen Roof Ruins. Just as we were packing up, had our first human encounter on Cedar Mesa as a group of 3 hikers pulled up to the Moon House Ruins trail head. After a good conversation with our New Mexico "visitors", we were soon continuing our 4WD trek west along Snow Flat Road (CR237) until the Hwy 261 junction. South on Hwy 261, passing some familiar Grand Gulch trail head names, until we reached Cigarette Springs Road (CR239).

Hike #8 - Fallen Roof Ruins (4.25 miles) - This set of ruins, along with House-on-Fire Ruins, have garnered a reputation amongst the outdoor photographers' fraternity as absolute essentials in any serious portfolio. Google these two names and see how many hits you get... We dodged many cows on the open range heading to the trail head. Once there, parking was at a premium with 4 other vehicles occupying the available spots. License plates indicated the long distance allure of these ruins - California, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico - and you can add our 2 Arizona plates to the mix! The hike starts across a cedar and pinion pine forest with intermittent slickrock and thick crytobiotic soil. You soon arrive at the edge of a side canyon that the trail will descend. Once at the bottom of this side tributary canyon, you walk along a scoured rock bottom traversing a series of dry falls. At the confluence with Road Canyon, you enter a riparian zone with many cottonwoods, cat-tails, and tall grasses. My vague instructions indicated to look for a large hoodoo on the north side a couple of hundred yards downstream from the confluence. This landmark is your guide to scramble up to a ledge midway along the canyon wall. As we scrambled up the exposed slickrock, we could spot the ruins along with a couple of tripods and some serious backpacks. We met Dave from San Francisco and Jason from Los Angeles - both outfitted with a serious landscape Hasselblad and a vintage Kodak Brownie ala Ansel Adams... These 2 pros didn't divulge their assignment, but indicated we might see something published someday in the future. We decided to leave Dave and Jason to capture their images in peace as we continued east along the ledge to explore the reported series of outer ruins and granaries. We found remnants of about a dozen ruins, and speculated about a new abandonment theory - maybe the alcove roofs collapsed on the inhabitants prompting the survivors to move on. We could find some totally smashed ruins with large rock slabs from the alcove overhang covering wood beams, studs, and other construction materials... The ledge dead ends at a cluster of granaries, one of which looks like abandonment occurred while under construction. Having completed our exploration of the outer ruins, we made our way back to Fallen Roof Ruins. Jason and Dave had just finished their photoshoot and were in the process of placing their equipment back into their 45 pound packs ("Gotta suffer for your art"; retorted the photographers) giving us some time to examine these ruins to ourselves. There are trails covering the lower canyon and we could see at least one set of ruins in a lower alcove. Temperatures were starting to climb and we could hear a beer calling us at the trail head. Yielding to that call, we made our way back in record time. Broke out the BBQ to grill up some half-pound Angus burgers and suck back an ice cold Guinness....

Hike #9 - Valley of the Gods (3.25 miles) - This is a return pilgrimage to where I did a mountain bike circuit about 20 years ago. Also a trek to ponder a question; "Why aren't there any Anasazi ruins, rock art, or artifacts in Valley of the Gods yet all the surrounding areas are rich with archeological treasures?" Monument Valley and Mystery Valley have their fare share and Valley of the Gods is just a northern extension of that area - so why not any in Valley of the Gods? After lunch we headed south on Hwy 261 down the Moki Dugway until we reached the junction of CR242 at the base of Cedar Mesa. As we ventured into the Valley of the Gods, we discovered that we had it all to ourselves and could take our time trying to find THE campsite. I knew that the extreme northeast corner of the valley is jammed with monuments (and prospective rock art sites?) so we concentrated our search there. We found an established site at the base of Castle Butte and declared it Camp #3. West Fork of Lime Creek was a short jaunt to the east of our camp and I set out just before sunset to explore. Found a riparian area complete with ducks and sand dunes, but no evidence of any Anasazi rock art. Mike Mattes treated us to a fine feast of BBQ chicken and pan fried potatoes. A minor beer crisis was averted by Paul's scotch. An almost full moon glowed in the eastern sky and allowed us to walk CR242 at midnight without any artificial light.

Day 3 total mileage = 7.50 miles

Day 3 campsite at Castle Butte...


Day 4 - Monday May 19th - I woke up before sun-up at Camp #3 and took another trek up one of the branches of Lime Creek towards Cedar Mesa. No discoveries, but some interesting morning light on all the monuments within Valley of the Gods.

Mountain Bike Trek #1 - Valley of the Gods (5.00 miles) - Took only 20 years for Valley of the Gods Redux, but we did it...

After our biking expedition, we broke camp and made the 4WD trek south along CR242 exiting Valley of the Gods when you reach Hwy 163. Head home via Hwy 163 towards Monument Valley stopping at Flagstaff to check in on Hannah making it home by dinner time.

I'm sure a great time was had by all and the only "must see" misses were House-on-Fire Ruins and The Citadel. We could have done without the pesky biting gnats! Maybe next time we'll take in Grand Gulch and the "must see" misses... Or is it Death Valley, or Anza Borego, or El Camino del Diablo, or Escalante of Hole-In-Rock Road, or...


UTAH Adventure 2008
20 years in the making
4 day long weekend
3 camps
9 hiking trails
1 mountain bike trek
1 paragliding crash landing
583 photos
860.6 miles
Desert Rose Inn in Bluff UT as base camp
Priceless!
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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7 archives
average hiking speed 1.27 mph

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.

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