The Citadel is an off the beaten path peninsula that juts into an expansive canyon in the Cedar Mesa area. Under the lip is hidden some amazingly well-kept Anasazi Native American ruins. This was part one of our spring break Cedar Mesa adventure.
After enjoying waffles with Ben & Mandy at Grandma’s house, we officially kicked-off spring break with a 4.5-hour drive to Blanding, which would serve as our home base for a few days of exploring. Upon arriving in the area, we took the drive to Cigarette Springs Road (it loosely qualifies as a road). The Citadel is located on BLM land and is not officially publish in their literature or maps. In fact, they have asked that it not be printed on maps to preserve its pristineness. Once you have completed the bumpy ride to the trail head, there is a mildly imprinted trail along the edge of the canyon rim until the citadel comes into view. At this point, I realized the battery in my camera was dead. As a result, I ran back to the car for a new battery and wide-angle lens. This was a good decision because the photography was stunning.
This tree, located on the canyon side of the Citadel presented a great photo backdrop, other than the lack of light (the above picture required a flash). Many of the trees in the area are ~250 years old, but some have been dated to over 450 years old.
These ruins are truly amazing. As I am reading 1491, I could not help but ponder about the Piute Indian tribe that occupied this area between 700 BC and 500 AD. While artifacts of the Clovis period, dating back ~13,000 years, these ruins belong to an Anasazi group known as the Basket Makers.