Roadside Ruin

excerpted from our book

Canyonlands National Park Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails
pages 119-120

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Roadside Ruin, Canyonlands National Park     Artifacts from the prehistoric Indians that once occupied Canyonlands are scattered throughout every district of the national park. Most of the relics are hidden away in remote canyons and alcoves, far from public sight, and hikers must often walk many miles for the opportunity to see them. But Roadside Ruin, in the Needles District, is fortunate to have a very well-preserved prehistoric granary only a 5-minute walk from the road.
    This granary was built by the Anasazi Indians who lived in the area before about 1300 A.D. They cultivated corn, squash, and beans and stored their crops in small masonary enclosures. Roadside Ruin is similar to most of the granaries they left behind. It is about 5 feet in diameter, 4 feet high, and it was built in a small alcove where it is sheltered from the wind and the rain. Unlike most Anasazi granaries the Roadside Ruin granary’s door is located on its roof, but the stone and mud construction of the walls is typical.

    The Park Service maintains a developed loop trail from the road to Roadside Ruin, and even sells a trail guide near the trailhead to help you enjoy the walk. Signs posted along the way will help you to identify a few of the native plants that were used as food and medicine by the Anasazis. Each side of the loop is about 250 yards long across almost level ground

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