Hike-in Required
ADA accessible
Guided tours
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Just east of the water pocket fold known as Comb Ridge in Bears Ears National Monument sits an ancient ceremonial complex. Butler Wash ruins is a smaller version of the famous Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde, and its remains are similar to those of the iconic circular Kiva. There are also square Kiva here, which were used by the Kayenta people. This potentially means that various cultures came from around the area to worship here. There are several individual rooms, and a plaza at the site probably dates back to around the 12th century. A few nearby granaries were used for food storage and were placed into natural alcoves for added protection, but like others it was suddenly abandoned a few centuries later. Often attributed to the Anasazi people, we now know that Ancient Puebloan is a more accurate description.

A short half-mile walk through the desert landscape takes you to the lookout. The last few hundred feet is on open slickrock that has reinforced cairns along the way to lead you in the right direction. You can access the ruins directly, but it takes a fair amount of scrambling and route finding, and it is not recommended by officials. Most people view the ruins from across the chasm behind a small fence with a bench. This is one of the main attractions in the area because of its large size and easy access compared to many of the other ruins that require longer hikes or off road vehicles to reach. The hike is short, but it can get extremely hot here in the summer. Bring some binoculars if you have the chance.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Decently preserved. Large ruins. Interpretive signs.


Can get very hot in summer.

Pets allowed



Big vistas


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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