Circle of Friends:
attractions of Mule Canyon are the Anasazi (sometimes called Ancient
Pueblo or Ancestral Pueblo) ruins and outstanding scenery. This canyon
should be first on the list of those new to exploring Cedar Mesa.
The Mule Canyon dwellings were
built and occupied by the Anasazi. The ruins in Mule Canyon are over eight hundred years
old, and have never been excavated or restored in any way. These ruins are a precious
national treasure and care should be taken in and around the ruins. This is a chance
to visit ruins in a wild setting with no supervision, please respect this opportunity.
Please take only pictures and leave only footprints.
Canyon is part of the "Circle of Friends"
program. Members of the "Circle of Friends"
have access to more specific information, explicit route information, GPS waypoints,
trailhead location and detailed maps. If you
would like more information on joining the "Circle of Friends" visit the sign
"Circle of Friends"
Mule Canyon contains many
outstanding ruins for hikers to explore. The time require to hike Mule Canyon is anywhere
from a few hours to a full day, depending on how much of the canyon you want to
A detailed route desciption,
accurate map, and a GPS are extremely useful in verifying you are on the correct route and
in locating specific ruins. Navigation for this route is moderate. Mule Canyon is rated 1A
III using the Canyon Rating System. A BLM Backcountry Permit
is required to hike Mule Canyon.
This trailhead is
accessible to all vehicles in dry weather conditions.
Photographing House on Fire:
An iconic photograph of House on
Fire is required for many photographers portfolio's. Photographers will want to know that
getting the 'on fire' picture requires that you visit the ruin mid-morning (approximately
10:00 or 11:00 am). The trick is to get your pictures when the sunlight is in the bottom of
the canyon and bouncing off the canyon walls, but before the sunlight hits directly on the
ruins which happens around noon depending on the time of year.
Mule Canyon Road Side
Most tourist stop and visit
the Mule Canyon Roadside Ruins (N37° 32' 23",
W109° 44' 33"). To reach the Roadside Ruins travel 0.5 miles west of
the turn-off to Mule Canyon on Highway 95. The ruins are located at mile marker 101.4 on
highway 95. The Mule Canyon Roadside
Ruins are signed and easy to locate.
The ruins consist of a paved parking area, a pit toilet and a 1/8 mile concrete trail
which winds around some restored ruins with several information kiosks.