This easy trail visits ruins of a pre-historic farmstead before arriving at an area rich with fascinating ancient rock art. Most of the hike is on an easy, graded gravel path accessible to hikers of all abilities; however, much of the rock art is seen by climbing around large boulders that may be difficult for some. Children may enjoy this hike but should be watched closely around cliff edges.
The Anasazi Ridge hike begins at the Anasazi Valley Trailhead (37.162435, -113.706110) northwest of Santa Clara, UT. To reach the trailhead from Santa Clara:
- Drive west on Santa Clara Drive, which soon becomes Old Hwy 91 for approximately 4.0 miles.
- Turn left at the signed junction for the Santa Clara River Reserve and Anasazi Valley Trailhead.
- Continue 0.3 miles down the gravel road to the signed Anasazi Valley Trailhead.
Restrooms are available at the trailhead.
From the Anasazi Valley Trailhead, begin hiking on the trail at the east side of the parking lot marked as the Tempi’Po’Op or ‘Rock Writing’ trail. The full length of this trail extends 3.5 miles to the Tukupetsi Trailhead. The farmstead and pictographs are just a short 1.2 miles up the trail for those hiking out and back.
The trail climbs gradually up the slope of Anasazi Ridge, which is also known as Land Hill on topographic maps. Hikers will be treated to outstanding views of the surrounding landscape including the Red Mountains and Snow Canyon State Park.
After about 0.8 miles, you’ll see a junction; follow the trail to the right leading to an Ancestral Puebloan farmstead. This interesting site was excavated by archaeologists in 2006 and 2007, revealing eight small rooms that were once used for crop storage.
After visiting the farmstead, continue back to the junction and follow the trail further up the ridge to the rock art area at 37.153850, -113.704533. The rock art is not marked except for a small marker instructing visitors not to touch or otherwise damage, deface, or remove the petroglyphs or any other artifacts that may be found.
The rock art panels here are known as petroglyphs, meaning they were chipped into the surface of the rock rather than being painted. Take some time to explore between the large boulders at the edge of the ridge to find many interesting panels both small and large. Be very careful as you move in and out of the rocks not to step on or touch any of the rock art.
Return the way you came. Round trip hiking distance is approximately 2.4 miles.
Rules & Regulations
- Do not touch rock art.
- No collecting or disturbing artifacts.
- Dogs must be leashed.
- Clean up after pets.
- No littering.
This hike can be very hot during the summer and in the middle of the day. No shade is available. Bring plenty of water for each member of your group. Hike in the morning or evening for cooler temperatures.