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After driving past the Anasazi State Park Museum in Boulder, Utah probably 5+ times a summer, last year I finally decided it was time to visit. I had recently read Finders Keepers and I became slightly obsessed with seeing ruins and anything related to them. The Anasazi Museum sometimes called the Anasazi Indian Village is on the edge of Boulder and great to visit on your way through from Capitol Reef.
After a delicious lunch at Burr Trail Grill (like usual), I decided it was high time I visit the museum and cross it off my Utah bucket list. We paid our dues and wandered around the museum a bit before checking out the small ruin site out back. One of my favorite things to see at places like this are the arrowheads and all the pottery. Of course, the ruins are cool, but I’ve seen others I like more outside of the museums.
The Anasazi people, now more commonly known as Ancestral Puebloans, occupied the area at the base of Boulder Mountain between 1050 and 1175 AD. Anasazi is the Navajo term for “ancient enemies.” The Navajo are not their descendents, hence the name. Modern Puebloans don’t like the term Anasazi to be used, hence Ancestral Puebloans. Ruin sites can be found spanning the Four Corners Region including Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona.
The Coombs site is the home of the museum and remains mostly unexcavated, but you can find plenty of artifacts inside. The Coombs site had room for about 200 people and is believed to be one of the largest communities west of the Colorado River. The original site was believed to have 100 rooms. The site was excavated and reconstructed to reflect the original style and condition of the Pueblo-style village with a 6-room home.
Where is the Anasazi State Park Museum?
The Anasazi State Park Museum is in Boulder, Utah, just outside of Grand Staircase Escalante, Dixie National Forest, and the Burr Trail.
How to get to the Anasazi State Park Museum
As usual, I’m including a few maps with directions to the Anasazi State Park Museum in Boulder. They’re from Capitol Reef/Torry, Escalante, Bullfrog/Lake Powell, and Bryce Canyon as those are common places to bee coming from.
Capitol Reef to The Anasazi State Park Museum – 50 minutes
Escalante to The Anasazi State Park Museum – 39 minutes
Bullfrog to The Anasazi State Park Museum – about 3 hours
If you have a car (not an RV) I would recommend taking Burr Trail instead of 276/24/12. There are some tough switchbacks that an RV won’t be able to make, but any car should be fine if it has been dry recently.
Bryce Canyon to The Anasazi State Park Museum – 1 hour 36 minutes
How much is the Anasazi State Park Museum?
$5 per person
$3 for Utah seniors
$10 for families
When is the Anasazi State Park Museum open?
The Anasazi State Park Museum is open daily, 8 AM to 6 PM from April 1 – October 31 and daily 8 AM to 4 PM November 1 – March 31. They are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.
What is there to do near the Anasazi State Park Museum?
- Drive the Hell’s Backbone scenic road
- Hike to Calf Creek Falls
- Hike to the 100 Hands Pictograph
- Drive Burr Trail
- Hike some of the slot canyons in Escalante like Peek-a-boo, Spooky, or Zebra.
- Visit Kiva Koffeehouse in Escalante
What else should I know about visiting the Anasazi State Park Museum?
- Sometimes there is a food truck out front that I’ve heard very good things about. It serves Mexican food.
- If you don’t want that, Burr Trail Grill and Hell’s Backbone Grill are both delicious. Sometimes we drive to Boulder from Bullfrog just to eat at Burr Trail Grill. The risotto cakes, fried green tomatoes, and trout are wonderful. It all is, but I love those.
- Sometimes they are just closed random days, so I would maybe call ahead just to be sure if this is your sole destination for the day. Here is the phone number: 435-335-7308
- I wouldn’t go way out of my way to visit, but if you’re in the area, it’s a great way to pass a spare hour.
- If you want to read something to get into the archeaological spirit, Finders Keeepers and House of Rain, both by Craig Childs, are great options.
Other Awesome Anasazi Ruins in Utah
- Butler Wash Ruins
- House on Fire Ruins
- Mesa Verde (Colorado)
- Ute Mountain Tribal Park (Colorado)
- Trail of the Ancients road trip
Overall, I would say the Anasazi State Park Museum is worth visit if you’re in the area or passing through. If you want a bigger museum with a lot more artifacts, like, a lot, stop at Edge of the Cedars State Park in Blanding. It’s about an hour from Moab and has so much stuff. But this is a perfect little stop in the cute little town of Boulder.
Have you been to the Anasazi State Park Museum? What did you think of it? Do you want to do? What is your favorite ruin site in Utah?