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Cedar Mesa, Utah

Cedar Mesa, Utah

Cedar Mesa, Utah

Page Type: Area/Range

Location: Utah, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 37.42000°N / 109.8°W

Object Title: Cedar Mesa, Utah

Activities: Hiking, Canyoneering

Elevation: 6500 ft / 1981 m


Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Apr 28, 2017 / Apr 28, 2017

Object ID: 998228

Hits: 330 

Page Score: 80.33%  - 12 Votes 

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Cedar Mesa is a plateau in southeastern Utah the boundaries of which can be defined as follows:

1) Elk Ridge to the north
2) Comb Ridge to the east
3) San Juan River to the south
4) Grand Gulch to the west

Satellite photo of Cedar Mesa
Satellite photo of Cedar Mesa

A band of cliffs divides Cedar Mesa into the higher northwestern and lower southeastern sections. The higher sections are 6000-7000 ft high and are covered by a juniper forest while the lower parts are 4000-5000 ft high. Erosion has carved a complex network of canyons into Cedar Mesa creating endless opportunities for hiking and technical canyoneering.

Abajo Mountains from Cedar Mesa
Abajo Mtns
Bears Ears from cedar Mesa
Bears Ears
Lower sections of Cedar Mesa
Comb Ridge
Comb Ridge

Evidence of ancestral Native American settlements can be found scattered around Cedar Mesa. While exploring the canyons, you could come across rock art, fragments of pottery, ruins of granaries or residences. The settlements are said to date from 500 B.C. to 1300 A.D. when a major drought is thought to have forced the residents to migrate away.

House on Fire
House on Fire Ruin
Ruin in Owl Creek Canyon
Ruin in Owl Canyon

Moki Dugway

A 3 mile section of Route 261 in southwestern Cedar Mesa is referred to as Moki Dugway. This section is unpaved and makes a number of switchbacks climbing a 1000 ft cliff to go from the lower to the higher part of Cedar Mesa.

From the top of Moki Dugway
Switchbacks on Moki Dugway
Valley of Gods from Moki Dugway
Moki Dugway


House on FireSwitchbacks on Moki DugwayBears Ears from cedar MesaLower sections of Cedar MesaRuin in Owl Creek CanyonSatellite photo of Cedar MesaFrom the top of Moki Dugway
Moki DugwayAbajo Mountains from Cedar MesaComb RidgeValley of Gods from Moki DugwayCedar MesaMoon House Ruins