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greenBlue House on Fire Ruins

  4.4 ( 9 ) Favorite


2.0 mile 3.2 kilometer out and back
99% Runnable


Ascent: 52' 16 m
Descent: -52' -16 m
High: 5,999' 1,829 m
Low: 5,947' 1,813 m


Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 14% (8°)


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Trail shared by Megan W

An out & back to Anasazi ruins famous for their rock roof's red, flame-like pattern in certain light

Megan W

Features River/Creek

Please Respect and Protect archaeological sites: Stay on trail, help prevent damage. Don’t move artifacts, let everyone enjoy the discovery. Stay out of ancient buildings and off walls, they are fragile! Report looting and vandalism: 1 800 722 3998


This pleasant trail follows a creek bed to visit a modest set of Anasazi ruins. The ease of the trail and the relatively short distance to the "House On Fire" make this one of the more accessible ruins in the area. The name of the ruin comes from the swirly, striated patterns on the rock roof above the structures that turns a brilliant red in certain lights - making it look like an inferno is engulfing the roof of the rooms. It is also called the Flaming House Ruin or the Flaming Ceiling Ruin.

Need to Know

Some creek crossings, can be muddy. Beware after heavy rains for flash flooding. To capture your own "fire" picture, go on a cloudless day, arriving by late morning, 11ish. The color comes from reflected sunlight off the walls across the canyon. The most popular spot to set up the perfect picture is from the left (west) edge, pointing at the right-most ruin.


Starting from the pull off, scramble down into the wash where you'll find a trailhead sign and sign-in station. The narrow trail initially heads north and follows the contours of the stream, crossing it several times. Low scrubby vegetation and cottonwoods predominate. Bend to the northwest and continue running gently uphill for about 1 mile. The ruins are not directly on the trail, so look to your right (north) for rock structures along a cliff alcove about 50 feet above. A side-trail threads through some bushes to the base of some low-angle slickrock. Follow this and rock pile cairns to the base of the ruins. At the bottom, there is a metal ammo can with a visitor log and info booklet.

As with all historical archaeological structures, do not touch or disturb them and do not remove anything. Keep kids out of the structures. These rooms are not actually houses, but instead are granaries used by Anasazi Indians to store corn and other crops.

When you're finished exploring the House on Fire Ruin, return to the main trail, turn left and retrace your steps southwest, back to the road.

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  4.4 from 9 votes


in Cedar Mesa


  4.4 from 9 votes
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