Lewis Lodge

A day hike to one of the most spectacular ruins in the area.

WARNING: This trail has serious exposure and is not for novices!

★★★★★

Wow factor

★★★★

Overall rating

★★★★

Difficulty

★★★

Access road

Crowds

The 'wow' here is the position of the ruins. Hundreds of feet up a sheer cliff face on what appears to be a very narrow ledge (it's wider than it first appears) in a spur of beautiful Arch Canyon. The canyon is actually a part of Cedar Mesa but the access to this section is through the Bear's Ears. The ruins themselves are mostly in a poor state but it's an exciting destination for experienced canyon hikers.

The trailhead is accessed from a turnoff on the paved road to Natural Bridges National Monument on a good dirt road (in dry weather) that leads to the top of Elk Ridge. It's 17 miles on this and other dirt roads before you can begin your hike.

 

The trail starts on a rough jeep road that steeply descends to Cedar Mesa from where you hike across country to the rim of the canyon and a view of the ruins. To get amongst them you must climb down a steep slickrock ramp with exposure. I used a short rope for safety but others may be more confident.

Once on the ledge explore the numerous structures. Careful foot placement is paramount! A slip could be fatal and you're a long way from emergency services.

For details on how to get there and the route click here. You'll need to sign up (free).

© 2015-2020 Bob Palmer.