Kane Gulch to Junction & Turkey Pen Ruins
ElevationAscent: 1,249' 381 m
Descent: -1,249' -381 m
High: 6,425' 1,958 m
Low: 5,861' 1,786 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 64% (33°)
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“A beautiful canyon run highlighting two of the many Anasazi ruins found in Cedar Mesa.”— Nick Wilder
At 2 miles, the canyon opens to a huge bowl and pour-over. The canyon becomes much deeper here, with imposing walls on each side. You'll cross the stream many times, but the trail remains easy (though not always easy to find - look for cairns!).
At 4 miles, you come to an major side canyon to the right and a huge grove of cottonwoods. Look up to the right on the cliff and you'll see the Junction Ruins - perched under a huge overhang with excellent natural protection. Below the cliff is the "midden," or trash heap. Yep, this is where they threw the trash from the ruins above. Tons of broken pottery sherds litter the ground. Respect the area and do not disturb the remains. There are fun ruins to explore on ground level as well as the higher ones, which you cannot access.
Back on the trail, continue .7 miles to the Turkey Pen Ruin, with more houses up high on the cliff. Down below are many houses and a kiva that you can explore. The highlight here is a set of sticks that have stood for nearly 1,000 years and appears to be a pen to hold turkeys. Excellent petroglyphs line the wall, making this an exciting destination for all.
The Kane Gulch Trail continues for many miles, but this is the turn-around point for this run.
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Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background
Land Manager: BLM Utah - Monticello Field Office