Target Ruin, sometimes called Bullseye Ruin, is
interesting Anasazi cliffdweller ruin
found in Upper Butler Wash on the eastern side of Comb Ridge. The hike
to the Target Ruin is mostly very easy and access is simple - the
actually on the roadside of Utah 95. The hike to Target Ruin
relatively short and this ruin can easily be visited and
explored in a couple of hours or less. However, there are a number of
nearby ruins in Upper
and you will likely want to spend time really
exploring the area. In particular, Ballroom Cave
is nearby and very interesting.
trailhead to the Target Ruin is located just off Utah 95
near mile marker 111 - just to the east of the Butler
parking area. There is a large pullout on the north
side of the highway that has room for several vehicles. There are no
outhouses, water or any other type of services at the parking area.
Ruin as seen from the approach - Note all photos enlarge
However, there are pit toilets at the Butler Wash Ruin which is just to
the west. I have read hike descriptions for accessing the Target Ruin
that say to park at
the Butler Wash Ruin parking area and cross the slickrock to join the
Butler Wash trail. However, I find it much more convenient
to park alongside the highway.
From the parking area next
to the highway drop-down the
obvious trail a short distance to the Butler Wash bottom. There is a
developed hiker trail which wends its way through the Butler Wash
trail typically crosses back and forth over the actual wash bottom.
everything is variable as flooding moves all kinds of things around
trails and create new opportunities for hikers. No matter what, the
trail is a
straightforward and easy hike up the wash bottom. Butler Wash is well
vegetated and much of the hike is in the shade of the mature cottonwood
trees that fill the bottom. However, the thick soils in the bottom also
support dense growths of a host of other plants. At times you will be
hiking through head high vegtation filled wiht the life of the desert.
At just about three quarters of a mile from the trailhead you will
trail off to the left that leads to Target Ruin.
The small pourover slickrock section
easy access to
the Target Ruin canyon. Most hikers use the steep sandy trail that is a
short distance further up Butler Wash.
Target Ruin sits at the end of a high walled box canyon
that's just a short distance from the bottom of Butler wash. There are
of different trails that lead to the ruin. Most hikers take a trail
diagonally up a steep sandy hillside from the Butler Wash bottom. This
the route that is most often recommended as the best way to access the
The trail can be difficult to spot unless you know where to look for
much easier to spot this trail when you are walking down the wash and
hikers completely miss the trail as they hike up the wash bottom. The
holds Target Ruin is not obvious from the Wash bottom so you have to
look carefully to spot
the trail. The access trail splits off from the main trail just down
from the Ballroom Cave. If you reach the point where you can see the
alcove up to the left you have come too far and need to retrace the
trail back down the Wash.
These crumbly ruins are in the alcove opposite the
There is much evidence that the alcove was once fully developed but
little remains of the structures that once filled the cave..
As you walk back down the wash, look to your right and you
the trail. The hillside here is right next to the trail and you will
Target Ruin access trail heading steeply up the sandy hillside. Once
of the dirt hillside you will find an easy trail leading into the box
Although this is
the commonly suggested
route to the Target Ruin,
access is to hike up the slick
rock pour-over where the Target Ruin box canyon enters
Butler Wash. This is not a dramatic pour-over but if you?re
observant you'll notice this slickrock about three quarters of a mile
parking area. It's a patch of rock that is obviously a drainage and all
have to do is scramble up and follow it to the ruin. Again, this short
side canyon is
encountered before the Ballroom Cave alcove comes into sight
you reach the point where you can see the alcove you know that you've
come too far and need to turn around and go
back. Look at the photo I have provided and you will see what the
slickrock pour-over looks like.
T.his target petroglyph is found on the wall of
opposite the Target Ruin
up into the ruin is a short walk into a box
canyon with steep walls. There are alcoves on both sides of the canyon
of these alcoves holds ruins. The alcove on the north side (right side
into the canyon) has a large well preserved ruin that is the Target
Unfortunately, the alcove is surrounded by sheer walls and there is no
access the ruin without climbing aids.
The alcove on the south (left-hand side looking up
holds the remains of what was once a fairly extensive set of structures
of these structures are now in serious disrepair. This alcove is easily
accessed by a trail that is obvious and is easy to explore. Although
the rooms are gone, several still show their initial shape and
addition to the ruins, there are a number of metates created through
repeated grinding of corn on the rock. In addition, there are a few
and pictographs on the alcove walls.
This is a view of the pictograph that gives
Target Ruin its name. The bullseye design is painted on the wall of a
structure that is located behind the curtain wall that fronts the cave.
This photo was taken from the alcove that is opposite the ruin.
Ruin is directly across the canyon from this
alcove and you can get good views of the detailed construction. One
still has the roof poles sticking out and it is easy to see the
construction of this flat topped room. The Alcove is filled with
some of them front right on the edge of the alcove while a curtain wall
the alcove with rooms behind it at one end. The Target Ruin is named
large target or bull?s-eye design is painted on the side of a wall
curtain wall. It?s difficult to see this pictograph from across the
canyon but a
third of the target can be viewed if you can get to just the right
The rooms of the Target Ruin are very well
Perhaps a big reason is the lack of access which keeps visitors from
on the walls and ruins. When you are done exploring the Target Ruin
can either return back the way you came to the vehicle park or continue
Wash to visit the Ballroom Cave and the other attractions found in
Target Ruin as seen from the alcove across the canyon. The target
pictograph is located at the very left hand section of the ruin.