Cedar Mesa and Grand Gulch Plateau include some of the best backcountry spots to find and learn about rock art and ancient ruins left by the Ancestral Puebloans (also known as the Anasazi culture), which thrived in the Four Corners area about a thousand years ago.
The Cedar Mesa sites are located on public land where they can be visited and enjoyed with relatively few restrictions. There are no visitors' centers or travel services. Ranger patrols these areas but their visits to any specific spot may be infrequent. Because of these factors, it is vital that visitors police themselves. Learn to view these sites and travel in these areas without causing damage. Take photos but don't touch artifacts. Hike, camp and enjoy but leave no trace of your visit.
In many places you can see rock structures, pieces of broken pottery, grindstones, rock art images and other artifacts. The greatest threats to these ancient relics come from humans who love them to death. People with good intentions cause damage when they touch and climb over walls, cluster shards and rub chalk over images.
Popular sites in this area include:
Grand Gulch Primitive Area
Natural Bridges National Monument backcountry areas
Mule Canyon ruins
Butler Wash ruins