In late April we embarked on a backpacking trip in Cedar Mesa, BLM land in southeastern Utah. We planned to hike from the Kane Gulch ranger station to the Bullet Canyon trailhead in four days. The area is renowned for its concentration of Ancestral Pueblo (previously called Anasazi) ruins and rock art.
We picked up our backpacking permit and got information about current water availability at the Kane Gulch ranger station. Since we were doing a one-way hike, we then drove to the Bullet Canyon trailhead and left our car there, then hitched back to Kane Gulch.
With everything in order, we began our descent into Kane Gulch.
Junction Ruin marked our destination for the day. The Ancestral Pueblo built homes into the cliff at the junction of Kane Gulch and Grand Gulch. We set up our tent under the cottonwoods just below Junction Ruin. We were living in the same space, walking with equipment on our backs as the Ancestral Pueblo must have done. We gathered water from the same creek and slept in the same canyon as they did between 700 and 2000 years ago.
Seeing ruins in this type of setting was very powerful. We would encounter many more in the days ahead!