Saturday, April 20, 2019

Three Kivas Pueblo

Today we broke our rule of not exploring on Saturdays.  We usually reserve the weekends for household duties and reading at our site.    Most people only have weekends to sight see and we don't want to get in their way.   But....we only have a few days left here and lots more I want to see.      I picked a spot that was not easy to reach and therefore I hoped it wouldn't be crowded.

high at the end of Chimney Park Viewpoint Road

distant section of Chimney Rocks that we visited earlier

a quiet San Juan River scene

Actually, the only other people we saw all day were a small group of cowboys (cowgirls? cowpeople? cowdogs?)  I don't know which is the correct word) branding and ear tagging this spring's calves.

The calves clearly wanted out of the pen and their mamas were very unhappy to be separated and were milling and mooing everywhere.   It was hard to get them to move as we tried to drive past the spectacle and be on our way.

Mamma traffic jam

We were heading for Three Kiva Pueblo, a stabilized pueblo along Montezuma Creek south and east of Blanding, Utah.    We drove toward Hovenweep National Monument and then turned off onto gravel road 146 just past the abandoned Hatch Trading Post.

Our destination was about 16 miles down the road.     We drove alongside the fast running, silty Montezuma Creek most of the way, crossing it just once.   We saw no one on this Easter Saturday.

There it was, Three Kiva Pueblo, sitting silently on a small rise surrounded by bouldery cliffs and fronting Montezuma Creek.

Even though it has been managed and stabilized by the Southwestern Utah's Wilderness Alliance, this place and it's solitary setting rose goosebumps on my arms.     The shadows of the ancients are long there.

down we go into the Kiva

We drove a little further and then stopped for lunch beside a series of waterfalls in the Creek.

he watched, but didn't say much

one of many falls

chocolate milk anyone?

After a relaxing break we took a different route back.   Along the way we found some examples of ancient dwellings that were not protected as Three Kivas has been.

what's left of a wall on the right

This area has so many prehistoric relics, some on private land, some on public land.     If they happen to fall within a protected area such as Bears Ears or Hovenweep National Monument they are saved for all to visit and learn about who came before.    If they are on public land and not cared for, they often fall prey to vandals or others who think it's fun to smash beer bottles and dismantle  walls that were built perhaps 1000 years ago.

this dwelling was placed under a warm, south facing overhang

more wall sections

cliff swallow nests look like Muppet characters to us

As we neared Blanding, the rocky mesas we'd been driving on gave way to fertile, irrigated fields and we were back on rt. 191 again heading south to Beluga.

 Tomorrow, Easter, we'll have breakfast at a nearby restaurant (blue corn pancakes, mmmmm) and then settle in for a quiet day at home.


  1. Blue Corn pancakes, yum! Happy Easter to all of the Beluga family :) including the black hairy one.
    The muppet characters are singing to you!

  2. I hate it when Vandals destroy ancient ruins. That is part of our past that we need to know about.
    Wishing you all a Safe and Happy Easter.

    It's about time.

  3. You two find the greatest adventures and make good use of your Jeep. I definately takes you to places many/most of miss.

  4. Sweet that you found such a nice site still in the wild that didn't involve a long hike. I prefer the ruins in the wild rather than the over protected ones meant for everyone to visit. One can hike into any canyon and find ruins in the walls. This area must have been such a busy hub of activity back in the day. I do believe these are the most perfect swallow nests I have seem. They must have been new this year. Great photo! I hope you blue pancakes were delicious.

  5. What a beautiful day of adventures! We're adding Three Kiva Pueblo and the waterfalls to our list for our next visit to Cedar Mesa. I wish all of these sacred places could be protected. Love the swallow condominiums. They do look like Muppets! :-)