Turkey Pen ruin is a well-known Anasazi ruin in Grand Gulch. It’s an easily accessible Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) site located a short distance down canyon from Junction Ruin. Junction Ruin gets its name because it sits at the intersection of Grand Gulch and Kane Gulch. The Kane Gulch trail provides easy access, making it easy to visit both Turkey Pen Ruin and Junction Ruin in a single-day hike. However, it’s even better if you can visit as part of a multi-day backpacking trip.
Sheiks Canyon is a short, steep side canyon that enters Grand Gulch between Todie and Bullet Canyons. Sheiks Canyon is not shown on the maps or described in the Cedar Mesa Travel Guide that the BLM provides to visitors. However, it’s fairly well-used access into Grand Gulch. It’s mostly used by day hikers seeking the well-known Green Mask rock art panel.
The Walnut Knob Petroglyphs are on an obvious geologic feature located in upper Comb Wash. The site is just below Comb Ridge north of UT 95, very close to the mouth of Arch Canyon. Walnut Knob is very prominent, sticking up from the rock slope it sits on. Being such an obvious feature, it’s not surprising that the Ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi) were associated with it.
The eastern slopes of Comb Ridge were home to many Ancient Puebloans (Anasazi) and their predecessors. The entire area from the San Juan River north to the foothills of the Abajo Mountains was inhabited from the early hunter-gatherers to the cliff dwelling Anasazi of the Pueblo III period. These first residents left behind many cultural treasures ranging from large housing units to small lithic scatters. Wolfman Panel is a great example of the rock art that still exists.
Ballroom cave is an interesting Anasazi ruin found in Upper Butler Wash on the eastern side of Comb Ridge. The hike to Ballroom cave is mostly very easy and access is simple – you actually park on the roadside of Utah 95. The hike to Ballroom Cave is 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 Butler Wash and you’ll likely want to spend time really exploring the area. In particular, Target Ruin is nearby and very interesting.