Sunday, October 5, 2014

House on Fire

There is a famous ancient pueblo ruin on the Cedar Mesa called House on Fire. You can see how it got it's name:

House on Fire

This is an amazing sight if you catch it in the right light. It's not actually a house but rather a place where the people stored their grain over 800 years ago. 

So how does this place get that blazing appearance? Most importantly, you have to get here at the right time - late morning in the summer or about noon in the fall. We got there at 11:15 am on October 5 and waited a bit before the light was right. You have to catch it when ruin is in shadow, with the sunlight hitting the red rock canyon and reflecting up onto the roof. If you wait too long the sun will directly illuminate the ruin and and wash out the scene.

Here's a shot with Denise in her blazing purple shirt contrasting with the fire: 

Here's a view from the side. You can see the entire ruin but the blazing effect is not quite as spectacular. 

If you want to go, it's pretty easy to find if you know where to look. It's in a place called Mule Canyon. Starting in Blanding Utah, travel west on Utah 95 for about 20 miles and turn right just past mile marker 102. Don't be fooled by a sign for "Mule Canyon Ruins" which is a a reconstructed site for "side of the road" sightseers. If you turn right on the correct road you will soon see a BLM sign where you stop and pay a small fee. Travel down the road about 0.3 miles, park at the side of the road at the bottom of hill and cross the road to find the marked trailhead (coordinates N37.53739, W109.73203). The hike is an easy 1 mile walk along well-marked trail beside a dry wash. After about 30-40 minutes look to the right, above the wash, and you can see the site. It's marked with some cairns leading up to the rock ledge on the right.

Time your visit right and you can easily add this photograph to your portfolio. 

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