Cedar Mesa, Utah

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Utah, United States, North America
Hiking, Canyoneering
6500 ft / 1981 m
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Cedar Mesa, Utah
Created On: Apr 28, 2017
Last Edited On: Apr 28, 2017


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 MesaSatellite 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 MesaAbajo Mtns
Bears Ears from cedar MesaBears Ears
Lower sections of Cedar Mesa
Comb RidgeComb 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 FireHouse on Fire Ruin
Ruin in Owl Creek CanyonRuin 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

Cedar Mesa, Utah

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