Moon House Ruin

Moon House Ruin is a cliff dwelling named after it's celestial pictographs. It sits in McCloyd Canyon in Cedar Mesa, Utah. Because irresponsible visitors have damaged the site, the BLM has made the Moon House Ruin a special management area. Visits are limited to 20 people per day. A permit is required from the BLM. March-June and September-October, the Kane Gulch Ranger Station is open 8 am to 12 pm, seven days a week. Be sure to arrive early in the day to get your permit. During the rest of the year, permits are self-serve at the trail-head kiosk.

Down the dirt road From the BLM kiosk, hike north along the dirt road for 1.25 miles. You cross a wash around 1 mile, and the road ends at a sandstone patio. Foot trails seem to leave from every side of the parking area, but look for two No Motor Vehicle posts separated by a line of rocks on the north side of the 4WD parking area. The wide trail continues north from here and is marked with large cairns.

The trail starts with an immediate descent towards McCloyd Canyon and steepens at the rim. Follow the cairns. A little ways down the trail, you can see Moon House hidden on a ledge on the opposite canyon wall. The trail descends a slope and leads you to a canyon floor at 1.6 miles. To climb up to Moon House, turn right and cross to the other side of the canyon and walk a short distance down the canyon. Find the route that climbs the canyon wall up the Moon House Ruins. The final push involves climbing up a crack to the base.While exploring the site you may want to look for an ammo can, whose contents include some visitor information.

BLM let's you enter the main portion through the small doorway in the long rock wall and asks you to be careful not to pull yourself in using the sides or top of the entryway. The generally ask that you don't climb into the other rooms, but bring a flashlight to peek inside. Corncobs can be found on the floors of the rooms, and pictographs on both the outside and inside of the ruins. Find the room that gives Moon House it's name displaying pictographs of the half moon and full moon. The BLM has placed sand on the ground to absorb moisture from visitor’s breathing and avoid the break down of pigment of the walls. The BLM asks that you follow all rules to protect the site.

This site can be found from the junction of UT 95 and UT 261, drive south on UT 261 for about 4 miles. Stop at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station or find the self-serve kiosk at the trail-head by continuing south on UT 261 for another 6 miles until you reach Snow Flat Road. Turn left, and veer left at a small sign marked “Trail.” This road can become impassable when wet, so check the weather before beginning your trip. In about 3.5 miles, the dirt road deteriorates. Even with high clearance vehicles, some road construction may be necessary to help ease you down bedrock drops.