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We’re still back in spring activities here and today is all about the Five Kiva Pueblo ruins in Blanding! We decided to go to Blanding for a few days this spring for some reason and on our way into town we stopped at the Five Kiva Pueblo ruins, literally right on the edge of town.
These ruins are super easy to get to and to see (they’re basically roadside ruins) but they are a little out of the way from the main road into town. It’s worth the short drive to go see them though, especially if you have an hour or so to occupy and have never seen ruins or just love seeing them.
They’re not the most satisfying ruins in the area (House on Fire is a great option), by far, but they are still cool to see and there are actually two ruin sites at this one stop! We we’re the only ones there, which was really nice and the weather was perfect.
We started the walk down to the ruins which I didn’t even know existed the first time I visited the year before to look for a Geocache after a trip to Butler Wash Ruins, House on Fire, and Edge of the Cedars State Park. It was kind of confusing to follow at first but it’s not far to get across the bottom of the canyon anyways.
It’s a dirt path that can be a little rocky but once you get down the first section, through a small rock step area (I realize this doesn’t sound all that helpful, but it’ll make more sense seeing it) the path is much more obvious. We went all the way over to the main ruin at first but noticed another one on the side of the canyon we started on, too!
It was an easy scramble up the other side and we looked around in here for a bit, admiring the ancient architecture before heading back to the other side. It was sprinkling most of the time which I really enjoyed. To get to the other ruin we kind of veered off by a juniper tree onto a smaller path.
In this other ruin there is a lot of, well, I’m not sure what it’s called, but it looks kind of like big mouse poop with hay all over the ground. Don’t touch this or disturb it because it could be from mice or pack rats and may carry diseases (hantavirus, anyone? I learned about that from the Mill Canyon dinosaur trail).
We just hung out under the cover of the alcove and enjoyed the rain which was now coming down a little heavier before heading back out. This is a nice little walk and perfect if you’re short on time and a fan of history and/or archaeology.
Things to keep in mind when visiting rock art & ruins:
- Do not touch the rock art (pictographs or petroglyphs) because the oils on our fingers can degrade them.
- If you find artifacts, do not take them. Leave them where they are and just take pictures.
- If there are structures (rooms, kivas, anything like that) don’t enter them unless it is stated that you can. Most places you can’t but national and state parks will have restored structures you can enter. Mesa Verde, Edge of the Cedars, and Anasazi Museum all have ruins you can enter. Some that are pretty open (like this one) are usually OK to enter, but do so very carefully. Don’t squeeze through any doors or windows in any ruin.
- And finally, don’t carve in or write or paint or draw on the rocks! I don’t want to have to say this, but I need to fo sho.
Where is the Five Kiva Pueblo
Five Kiva Pueblo is on Ruin Road in Blanding, Utah. It’s just at the end of that road and there is a sign marking it. It’s just outside of the main area of town, a little closer to the turnoff to Highway 95. It’s great if you’re coming from the Moki Dugway, Natural Bridges National Monument, Monument Valley, or Lake Powell.
How long is the hike to Five Kiva Pueblo
It’s a short 0.6-mile round-trip hike in Big Canyon and is pretty easy. You shouldn’t need more than an hour here, if that. It’s a short stop, especially if you don’t hike over to the ruins and just stop to look at them. It makes for a great easy hike on a weekend trip to Blanding.
What to bring to Five Kiva Pueblo
Hiking poles – These will be helpful on longer hikes that are on the steeper side. They’ll be good if you have bad knees for when you’re going downhill and will give you something to lean on going up the hills.
Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen. I like the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch a lot AND it’s reef safe! If you’re sensitive to fragrance though, it’s not a good choice. I also like the same one but specifically for your face.
Sunglasses – This is a must no matter where you are.
Headlamp – I tend to carry my headlamp around all the time when we’re hiking, just in case.
Books to read before visiting the Four Corners:
- The Bears Ears
- In Search of the Old Ones
- The Lost World of the Old Ones
- House of Rain
- Finders Keepers
- Monkey Wrench Gang
- Hayduke Lives
- Desert Solitaire
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Have you been to Five Kiva Pueblo? What did you think of it? What’s your favorite thing to do in Blanding?