Sunday, May 1, 2011

Northwest Woods Canyon Village

The north mesa top area west of Woods Canyon in the Canyons of the Ancients can be visited by traveling west on County Road Y from Highway 491 at Yellow Jacket, Colorado, then south on Road 16 to Road W. At the west end of Road W near a gas facility there is the marked BLM Road 4529.

About 0.7 miles along Road 4529, there is a junction with a closed old road that turns north. On my previous visit to this area I skipped passed this junction and continued on the main trail. This mesa top area is between Woods Canyon on the east and Sandstone Canyon on the west.

After about 10 minutes of hiking along the closed road, there is a small rubble pile ruins site very close to the trail.
This site and area has a good view across a sage brush field toward the Blue Mountains that are near Monticello, Utah.
About 5 minutes of walking further north, there is a very large village ruins site. It is heavily overgrown with sagebrush and trees, but the rubble piles are extensive.

I didn’t see any intact walls here. Looking back, I wondered why there is a gap between the large site and the smaller one.
Mixed in among the rubble piles are many bare earth spots with scattered pottery shards. I noticed that even the road leading to the site had many small shards along the way.
 This large village is about 50 yards west of the canyon rim overlooking the upper part of the side canyon that is parallel and west of the main Woods Canyon. In the distance, the gas plant that is at the Woods Canyon  Trailhead area is visible. Also, the gas plant that is on the mesa top just west of the somewhat well known Woods Canyon Pueblo is visible.

The old road continues a little further north and ends at an agricultural field. I continued a short distance east on a cow trail to the head of the side canyon and turned around without seeing any other ruins sites. I spent about 1:30 hours on this hike on a chilly and windy late April day.

On the return drive along the north side of Road W, I saw a small herd of Bison. I had passed by here a couple of times before without noticing them.

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