Mountain Ute Tribal Park

The run to Mountain Ute Tribal Park has been discussed for years and we finally had a chance to make it happen thanks to Doug Ramsey.  Mountain Ute Tribal Park is 125,000 acres, almost 3 times larger than Mesa Verde without the crowds.  For the most part the ruins are exactly how they were for the last 900 years, untouched unlike Mesa Verde.  It was a great combination of petroglyphs, pictographs, and ruins.  It was a great day to be out there and all 32 in our group enjoyed it greatly. Towards the entrance we visited an old Kiva along the Mancos River. There was an unbelievable amount of pottery at the Kiva, also in the whole park. Our guide Ricky Hayes lead a great tour.  Here he is talking about the pictographs from between 1880 and 1940s. Here Ricky tells the story of the petroglyphs that are much older. We are about to descend into Lion Canyon so visit 4 sets of ruins.  Here we climb down 4 sets of ladders into Tree House. Tree House.  It was a unique place surrounded with Douglas Firs that are usually found at a much higher elevation but the right combination of water and cooler weather right there allows them to grow. Look closely you can see the 4 sets of ladders just right of center of the picture that we had to descend and later climb back up. Headed into Lion House.  When it was excavated a family of mountain lions lived in it, giving it’s name to the house.Morris 5 House.Climbing the near vertical 30 foot ladder into Eagle Nest House.  Some of our group thought it was wiser to look from below. Eagle Nest House had a narrow ledge to get over there with a low overhang in one spot.Eagle Nest HouseThe view was straight down heading down the ladder leaving Eagle Nest House.