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Thread: Cummings Mesa

  1. #1

    Cummings Mesa

    Last week, while my friends were playing among the slots in West Canyon, I did a solo hike up to Cummings Mesa.

    Getting there requires a backpack. From the East side, you come in from the "trailhead" at Round Rock, which is near Navajo Mountain. From the West side, you come up a gully from the rim of West Canyon. These are the only two routes to get up on the southern end of the Mesa. There are other ways up from Lake Powell...Wetherill Canyon, Mountain Sheep and Cathedral Canyons each have a route up (old sheep trails) but it's a long slog to the southern end where all the good stuff is.

    I have a book by Jesse Jennings, the archaeologist who studied canyons and ruins just before they started filling up the lake. He led a crew up there in '62 and identified 163 Anasazi sites and declared the the mesa was the most populated and heavily used area in all of Glen Canyon. From 800-1150AD with a 100 year gap mixed in with little activity.

    I've been up there 4 times...first in '98 and the last in '05 until just recently. I've found maybe 20 sites. Also, the Navajo used to run sheep up the mesa and built at least 4 hogans...most of them were abandon in the 70s (judging by the leftover trash in them) but one was still being used occasionally up until '01. That one has now collapsed...see picture below. I saw absolutely no hint that anyone at all has been up there in a long time...no footprints, not even old ones. Also, the sheep trails that lead up there have deteriorated almost completely...but the route is still obvious to follow.

    Unless you're there right after rains, there is only one place to get water...a pothole about 200 yards off the rim at the head of Wetherill. It's a keeper, so if you go up there, bring a rope and a bucket/pot to scoop up water if the pool is low.

    Fantastic views and lots of Anazasi stuff lying about. If you're a hardy backpacker, this place is an awesome trip. Make sure you get a permit and try to resist the urge to pocket anything you find up there...consider that anything you take to adorn your curio cabinet with may likely end up in the trash when you die as those that inherit your crap have no idea what it is. That'd be a damn shame, now wouldn't it? You can go up there and take pictures and look at it anytime you want.

    Also, you'd better have your route finding chops up to snuff...I won't give beta on routes or locations of ruins. Although there are a couple of hiker types here at Bogley that I'd oblige, as they seem like ethical dudes...anyone else, fugetaboutit.

    Nice place. Here's some photos...I saw a bobcat and three very healthy looking mountain sheep that day. Didn't get a pic of the cat, though...it was running away from me. Nearly 10 hours of hiking from my base camp in upper West.

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  3. #2
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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    I've studied this extensively and plotted out coordinates from google earth but have never gotten around to doing it.
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  4. #3
    you were on the Reservation ? (Permit req'd)

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi_outdoors View Post
    you were on the Reservation ? (Permit req'd)
    Yes...this place is the large Mesa just west of Navajo Mountain. Anyone going in there without the permit would be asking for trouble...especially considering you have to park in someone’s back yard.
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