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Utah Hike of the Week: Edge of the Cedars State Park kiva ruin and art walk — Blanding

First Published      Last Updated Oct 20 2016 04:41 pm

This short walk takes hikers into an ancient kiva and by artwork evokative of the lives and times of Ancestral Puebloan people. The kiva, an underground structure, has been restored, and visitors can climb down a ladder through the roof to explore. Among the sculptures is a life-size Kokopelli form that became the subject of controversy and was moved behind the museum in 2008 after a Blanding group called the "Values Committee" complained that the statute of the humpbacked, flute-playing fertility god has a penis.

Directions • In Blanding, take U.S. Highway 191 to the intersection of West Center and Main streets. Travel west on West Center Street six blocks to 600 West and turn north. The parking lot and museum for Edge of the Cedars State Park is two blocks north, on the west side of the street. Visitors can access the trail from the museum when it's open; after hours, hikers may walk around the north side of the building to reach the trails, according to park staff.



Hike • Immediately outside of the museum's backdoor is the infamous Kokopelli statue. Proceed west on the paved trail to the ruins. On the west edge of the ruins is a restored, 1,000-year-old kiva; a sign shows where you can walk onto the roof and climb down a ladder to see the underground room. Climb back out of the kiva and continue to a trail spur that zigzags west down a slight hill to another sculpture and views of the surrounding countryside. Return to the museum building walking on the north segment of the loop.

Digital map available at https://drive.google.com/open?id=1WbJ3VF8nb_yuGIYE_KraC8r-8oI&usp=sharing.

— Erin Alberty

 

AT A GLANCE

DestinationAncestral Puebloan kiva, sculptures

Hiking time0.5 hours

Round-trip miles0.5 miles

Elevation gain15 feet

DifficultyEasy

Trailhead restroomsYes

Dogs allowedYes, leashed, outdoors only

Bikes allowedn/a

Fees None for hike, $5 per person to visit museum


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