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Cedar Mesa
  Grand Gulch
     Kane Gulch
         Junction Ruin
         Turkey Pen Ruin
     Toadie Canyon
     Sheiks Canyon
   Mule Canyon
     Cave Canyon Towers
     Mule Canyon Ruin
     N.Fork Mule
     S.Fork Mule
   Lime Canyon
   Road Canyon
     7 Kiva Ruin
     N. Fork Road
   Slickhorn Canyon
   John's Canyon
   Arch Canyon
   Walnut Knob

Comb Ridge
  Procession Panel
  Wolfman Panel
  Upper Butler Wash
    Butler Wash Ruin
    Ballroom Cave
    Target Ruin

Canyon of the Ancients
  Lowry Pueblo
  Ruin Canyon
  Montezuma Creek

San Juan River
  16 Room House
  Sand Island Panel

Canyonlands N.P.
  Island In The Sky District
     Aztec Butte

Hovenweep N.M.

Other Cool Places
  Little Westwater Ruin
  Moki Dugway
  Milk Ranch Point
  Whiskers Draw
  Moki Dugway

Camping Index
Camping in Anasazi Country
Anasazi Country Campgrounds
Selecting a Campsite
Selecting a Tent Site
Selecting a Tent
Sleeping Bags & Pads
The Camp Kitchen
Water Supplies

Junction Ruin - Grand Gulch, Cedar Mesa

      Junction Ruin is probably the most visited ruin in Grand Gulch. It's an interesting Anasazi site located in Grand Gulch right at the junction with Kane Gulch. Kane Gulch is the most popular access to Grand Gulch which makes Junction Ruin the most visited ruin in the canyon. The trail to the ruin is easy and Junction Ruin is a great place to get exposed to the Anasazi ruins of Grand Gulch
Kiva in Junction Ruin Click to enlarge
     This Mesa Verde style kiva has a single roof beam remaining. The Anasazi occupied this site until they abandoned the entire Grand Gulch region in about 1260.

     Hiking to Junction Ruin begins at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station which is located on UT 261 4 miles south of the intersection with UT 95. The site is well signed and there is a good sized paved parking area. There are pit toilets but water is not available so be sure to bring all you might need. The Kane Gulch Ranger Station operates seasonally so don't be surprised if they are not open when you are there. If the station is manned you can get the latest information about trails, roads and water availability in the canyons.     

   All of Cedar Mesa is BLM land and you will need to purchase a permit to hike in Kane Gulch. If it is open, you can purchase your permit at the Ranger Station. Otherwise, self register and
Junction Ruin in Grand GulchClick to enlarge
     Junction Ruin is on three levels of the canyon wall. The structures on the third level are inaccessible and were quite likely  defensive in nature. 
pay at the kiosk in the parking lot. Day Use Permits are $2.00 per person per day and a 7 consecutive day pass is $5.00. Overnight Permits are $8.00 per person per trip. If you want to backpack into most Cedar Mesa canyons you will need to get a backcountry permit  in peak season. Contact the BLM for more information about Cedar Mesa Backcountry Regulations and Fees

      The Kane Gulch trail begins right across the road from the Kane Gulch Ranger Station. The trail is a well maintained and easy hike as described on our Kane Gulch Hike page. Junction Ruin is located in Grand Gulch right where Kane Gulch enters. Junction Ruin was occupied during the Basketmaker II period with continued intermittent occupation until about 700 AD. There then was about a three hundred year period in which there is little evidence of Anasazi occupation in Grand Gulch. After about 1000 the area was occupied until the Anasazi left forever in about 1250.

     The ruin is located on three levels, the upper of which is not accessible. There are remains of 28 structures on the lower level with 14 on the second level and 17 on the inaccessible third level. While the use of some structures is evident, many rooms were of uncertain use. However, there were definitely living rooms, kivas, storage rooms and, from all evidence, defensive structures built on the third level. Rooms with smoke blackened walls and/or ceilings were likely habitation rooms while those without blackening were used for storage.
Granary  in Junction Ruin

     Both Kayenta and Mesa Verde style construction is evidenced in the structures at Junction Ruin. There is also a waddle and daub constructed structure. There are several obvious kivas at Junction Ruin. They feature plastered wall and careful observation will show multiple layers of plaster that had been applied over the years.

     The rock art found at Junction Ruin consists of both pictographs and petroglyphs. There are quite a few hand prints on the canyon wall that were created by both positive and negative methods. There is some use of colors with a lot of yellow and orange art present.

     There are a number of grinding stations at the ruin. The most obvious is a large boulder with multiple grinding areas where corn was ground to meal by rubbing a hand held rock (called a mano) onto a flat rock surface (the metate). Repeated grinding will gradually wear a cupped place in the rock which aids in the grinding process. In addition to the mealing  marks this rock shows worn groves that were possibly created by repeated sharpening of some sort of tool.
Sand Island PictographClick to enlarge

    A very noticeable feature at Junction Ruin is the large midden heap which extends down and out from the ruin. This historic trash heap is rich with pottery sherds and other relics. This midden heap is lightly fenced by the BLM so please stay off and enjoy the pottery pieces from a distance. Historically, this midden has been dug up by looters and we all need to help preserve it. Please don't gather sherds into displays and never take any pieces as souvenirs. These ruins are treasures that are easily damaged and can never be replaced. Please respect them enough  to leave them untouched for others to enjoy.

     Grand Gulch is the best place to see Anasazi ruins outside of developed parks and Junction Ruin is a great example of what Grand Gulch is all about. It offers the observant visitor a glimpse into some parts of the Anasazi life. The ruin can be visited in a day by most hikers as it is about an 8 mile round trip on a mostly good trail. Visit this as day hike when you can, or better yet, take a multi-day backpack trip into Grand Gulch for an amazing experience.

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