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Upper Grand Gulch-
Highway 95 to Kane Gulch

I did this hike in about 8 easy hours in late August, 2008. I parked at the intersection of Highways 95 and 261, on the northern end of Cedar Mesa, and walked right into the drainage. It took me about 3 1/2 hours to reach the junction with Kane Gulch, about 10 kilometers down canyon. There are sections of the canyon that are well choked up with willows. You may see cattle in the upper reaches. I took a quick look at Junction Ruin, had lunch there under a juniper, and returned the same way, although I veered west about 4 kilometers from my starting point where a drainage comes in from the west.

The hike was easy, except for two pouroffs about one kilometer up from the junction with Kane Gulch. One of them required a jump down, and a climb back up. The climb back up was aided by two logs propped against a boulder below (the one you jump down on to) and jammed together at the top where they lay against a small ledge. Use caution here if you plan on returning this way. Not everyone will see the way down, or back. A second hiker and a rope would make it much easier. The next, lower pouroff is skirted by climbing through a boulder field.
ruin in upper Grand Gulch, Utah There are at least a few ruins in this part of the canyon that are well worth seeing. The one pictured at left, along with another about 500 meters away from it, were built with bright red sand from the wash in Grand Gulch immediately adjacent.  The red sand mortar had stained the stones and both ruins stood out among the deep green of the Pinyon, Junipers, Cottonwoods, desert Aspens, and Mormon tea.  They were easily visible from the canyon bottom below. The ruin shown here is unique in that, although it is in an alcove, it is free-standing, with a back wall that is built just off the alcove wall. Another interesting fact about this ruin is the graneries that are built atop the lower living rooms. Note the small windows in the upper third of the face of the ruin. The roof beams and roofing were quite solid-looking and completely intact in the main part of the structure.

Only one mapsheet is needed for this hike, the 1:24,000 Kane Gulch mapsheet.

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