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Edge of the Cedars State Park is kind of like the Anasazi State Park Museum in Boulder, but bigger. I remember every time we drove past the sign for it I just thought well, that looks like a terrible state park because I had no idea what it was and I’ll be real, the landscape in that area isn’t the best. But then I read Finders Keepers and I had to go. So when my parents came to visit and we had a day of ruins plan, I figured this was the perfect addition to the day. As usual, you can always skip down to the bottom for more of the how-to info.
Edge of the Cedars State Park is a museum with the largest collection of Ancestral Puebloan of artifacts in the Four Corners area. You can see everything from shoes to pottery and arrowheads to toys and games. There is also a restored kiva you can go into behind the museum and some living area ruins left.
I would just like to note, if you’re hiking in the area and find any kind of artifacts (pottery, beads, arrowheads, anything like that) leeave it where it is, take pictures, and record the coordinates to report it to BLM or other appropriate rangers. If you don’t report it, at least leave everything where it is and just take pictures.
In the first big room, after you see the puppy effigy (I think it looks like a puppy, but I believe it’s actually a sheep, it’s called the Murray Effigy), the main exhibit does change. The first time I went it was was showing some of the weavings you see later in this post and featured a lot of textiles and clothing. The second time it was an astrophotography display. I think my favorite thing to see there is all of the pottery.
The picture above is another really cool thing they have in the more kid-oriented area. It shows the different types of soil and what is buried in each from different time periods. They also have a few artifacts that weren’t native to the area and would have been traded for from Mexico/Central/South America, like the Macaw feather sash in the header photo and some seashells.
Overall, I would definitely recommend a trip to Edge of the Cedars if you’re in the area, passing through, or have a lot of interest in archaeology/ancient ruins and things like that. I think it’s really cool getting to see all of this stuff that is thousands of years old and still looks probably just like it did when it was made, maybe a little worse for weear in some cases, but it’s still extremely impressive. It’s the perfect addition to either a general Southern Utah road trip or a Trail of the Ancients road trip.
When is Edge of the Cedars State Park open?
March to November they are open Monday – Saturday 9-5, Sunday 9-4. They are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. These are the hours from the website, but I’m seeing different hours on this one, so it may be best to call ahead of time to check. The phone number is 435-678-2238.
Where is Edge of the Cedars State Park?
Edge of the Cedars State Park is just outside of Blanding Utah, which is about an hour from Moab.
How much is Edge of the Cedars State Park?
Just $5 per person and $3 for seniors (over 62) and kids.
Where to stay in Blanding
Blanding isn’t bursting with hotels, but there are still plenty of places to stay. We like the Rodeway Inn but they also have some cute smaller hotels. You can book hotels here.
- Super 8 – book here
- Stone Lizard Lodging – book here
- Prospector Motel – book here
- Cliff Palace Motel – book here
- Four Corners Inn – book here
- Rodeway Inn – book here
You can also find quite a few Airbnbs in Blanding. This could be a good option if you’re on more of a budget, they tend to be a little less than hotels, or if you’re traveling as a small group. You can book the Aribnbs here.
There is no camping at Edge of the Cedars State Park, but there are plenty of camping options in the area. You can see a bunch of campsites here for RVs or tents here. If you’re not a campground person or just want to try something new, you can always camp for freee on BLM land.
If you want to camp on BLM land, you’ll have to go off main roads a bit to usually well-maintained dirt roads. You can read all about dispersed (free) camping here.
Where to eat in Blanding
Blanding isn’t quite on the Asheville levels of good food, but you will find some good places to eat there still. I’ve only eaten at Yaks and really enjoyed it, but I can’t speak for the others.
- Yaks Cafe
- Pops Burritos
- Patio Diner
- Homestead Steak House
- Hunt’s Trading Post (for apparently wonderful coffee)
Other awesome things to do near Blanding
- Go Geocaching! There are tons of them in this area, within an hour or so of Blanding.
- Hike to House on Fire
- Drive into the Abajo Mountains
- Visit the Mule Canyon Ruins
- Stop at the Butler Wash Ruins
- Go to the Upper Sand Island Petroglyphs in Bluff
- Take a day trip to Valley of the Gods and Goosenecks State Park
Have you been to Edge of the Cedars State Park? Do you want to go? Do you like visiting this type of place?
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