Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hilltop Village Between Yellow Jacket and Woods Canyon

The mesa top area between Woods Canyon to the west and Yellowjacket Canyon to the south has a variety of hidden Ancestral Pueblo ruins sites along the canyon rims and hilltops. From the Carbon Dioxide Gas Plant at the corner of County Road U and County Road 14, I traveled 1.4 miles south on Road 14 and stopped at a point where the road made a sharp bend to the west.

This road might also be labeled BLM Road 4528. This area is west of the community of Yellow Jacket along Highway 491 in the Canyons of the Ancients in southwest Colorado.

I hiked around the area on a warm early July day looking at the hilltops areas on both sides of the road. On the hilltop northwest of where I started there is a medium sized village completely hidden and overgrown with sagebrush and the Pinon Juniper forest.

On the east side of the site there is a large circular rubble pile in a volcano shape, perhaps a collapsed tower.

The next structure to the west seemed to be a more rectangular mound with less rubble visible. This site has good views from the hilltop overlooking the area to the south.

Further to the west is another circular ruin that I thought was more of a kiva, but none of these rubble piles had any visible walls that have held together.

From this village it is a short walk northwest to the nearest canyon rim where a boulder based ruins site is visible across and down the canyon. I think this site is also visible with binoculars from the main road about 0.5 miles further south. (The post for this boulders site is labeled Yellow Jacket Canyon Boulders.) 

I spent 1:30 hours on this hike even though the site I found was 5 minutes of walking from where I started. I was an 84 F degree early July day and I wasn't bothered by the biting gnats that are often a nuisance during June.

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