Mule Canyon Towers
A short walk around a group of Anasazi towers and an optional scramble to ruins and rock art.
Even if you have just an hour to spare before of after another hike, this is a worthwhile option if you’re in the vicinity, perhaps hiking the North or South Fork of Mule Canyon which is close by.
If you’re travelling from Blanding along UT95 turn left (south) just before mile marker 102. The road and towers weren’t signed when I was last there. Go through the gate and drive a sometimes bumpy road for ½ mile or so to a large parking area. Note that high-clearance is recommended, though I have seen conventional cars here. Otherwise park your car near the gate and walk to the rim.
The rim is a short distance from the parking area. Three of the towers are in good condition, while the rest are little more than piles of rubble. You’ll see that between them they cover all the vantage points around the head of the imposing canyon. As you walk around the rim look out for ruins below.
If you have time you can drop over the rim on the left hand side (the first few yards are the most difficult – you will need your hands and there is exposure – and this would put the Difficulty level up to ••••) and follow a rough, steep trail to two groups of ruins, mostly granaries still with corn inside, which are just under the rim. After the second group look out for a small structure perched on a narrow ledge above a vertical cliff section. If you have a head for heights you can walk this ledge above which is a large pictograph which is often known as the ‘Smiley Face’.
Mule Canyon Towers is often devoid of people and it’s very rare to find anyone below the rim as most fail to spot the way down.