Grand Gulch Primative Area
Bullet Canyon
Bullet Canyon.
Photo courtesy of Marion Mitchell

Grand Gulch, located in the extreme South Eastern corner of Utah, is remote, and the terrain is very rugged. The area is only accessible by foot, although they do allow you to bring in Llama's as pack animals. The Anasazi (Navajo word for Ancient Enemies) prospered in Grand Gulch between 700 and 2,000 years ago. In fact, so many sites remain, that are in such excellent condition it makes Grand Gulch a special and unique area.
Split Level Ruin
Split Level Ruin.
Photo Courtesy of Marion Mitchell
The earliest known Anasazi inhabitants of Grand Gulch were the Basketmakers, who lived here from A.D. 200 to 700. The artifacts from the Basketmaker period are the oldest yet found in the Gulch. The Basketmakers homes were built by excavating a shallow pit. Then they made walls, a roof of logs and sticks and covered them with mud. They also used flint tools and wooden digging sticks. Their name was derived from the finely woven baskets they made. The most prevalent remains of the Basketmaker culture in the Gulch are their slab-lined storage cisterns, which can still be seen on the mesa tops or on high ledges protected from the weather.
Big Man Glyph
Big Man Petroglyphs.
Photo courtesy ofMarion Mitchell
Before hiking into Grand Gulch, please make the members of your party aware of the fragility of the country they are entering. Please stay on the established trails. The Cryptogramic soil (the dark bumpy soil prevalent in this area) is very fragile, and is vital to the plant and wildlife of the Gulch. It helps to keep the soil in place so that the plant life can grow. It also helps to deter erosion due to wind and rain.

If you must enter a ruin to explore it, please use caution. Be aware of where the midden is. (trash pile) Do not walk on it, you may destroy valuable information into the past. Please do no climb on the walls, they are fragile. These ruins have survived for centuries, but it only takes one moments carelessness to destroy it for all time.
Jail House Ruin
Jail House Ruin
Photo Courtesy of Marion Mitchell
Please camp well away from ruins and rock art sites. Ruins are fragile. Although the ruins offer shelter in inclimate weather, you could damage a ruin beyond repair without meaning to. Remember, these sites have seen a millenium of wear and tear, the less use they get, the longer they will last. Never build fires in ruins or alcoves. Alcoves may contain hidden archaeological remains.
Enjoy the many Petroglyphs and Pictographs of the area by looking, sketching, and photography only. Touching, these ancient figures causes them to rub away. Please leave the rock art to the Anasazi, the new stuff is called vandalism, which is punishable by law. Please leave artifacts where you find them. They are valuable pieces of a puzzle, and may contain awnsers to questions about the Anasazi people. Admire, photograph, and leave it where you found it are good policies. Any person who excavates, removes, or damages, or otherwise alters or defaces any historic or prehistoric, artifact or object of antiquity on the public lands is subject to arrest and penalties of up to $20,000 and/or two years imprisonment.
Archeology Vandalism, Area-wide:
Tel: 800/722-3998
Please remember that these sites are of spiritual importance to the decendants of the Anasazi. (Zuni, Hopi, and Pueblo Indians of modern times) Please treat them with respect.
If you are interested in learning more about the Colorado Plateau, call or write:

Canyonlands Natural History Association
30 South 100 East
Moab, Utah 84532
(801) 259-6003

For additional information, please contact:

San Juan Resource Area
Box 7
Monticello, Utah 84535
(801) 587-2141

If you would like to learn more about this area, please go to my Reading List. I have lot's of good title's available through Amazon.com.

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