House on Fire Ruins: Bears Ears N.M.

Resting at House on Fire

Before I was a desert dweller, I lived in a busy little suburb outside Philly — a life filled with lots of rushing around and being overly stressed about things that just don’t matter. I remember seeing a picture of this crazy looking ruin, built right into the side of a cliff with what looked like flames shooting out from the top of it. That image stuck in my brain… and now many many years and lifetimes later I am here. I am sitting RIGHT HERE. That’s called winning 🙂

My one goal for this little mini summer road trip was to find House on Fire ruins, an iconic rock “house” built thousands of years ago with red and orange striped rocks flanking the tops of the alcove that the little ruin is built inside of. House on Fire is just one of thousands of archeological sites found in Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah.

Posing — super tourist-mode

You’d think with the fierce debate surrounding this National Monument we’d see a whole lot of tourists and hikers out on the trails. Not even. We saw maybe a handful of awe-inspired, nature-loving outdoor enthusiasts, enjoying a summer morning surrounded by lizards and yucca and blue skies. * Bears Ears was designated by Obama in December 2016. The monument grants federal protection to the twin geological formations that rise above the horizon, or the “Bears Ears”. It also protects the more than 2,000 square miles of desert and canyons.*

Really, really old hand prints. These were tough to see!

After many pictures were taken, we moved on through Mule Canyon to a few more ruins (there are even more if you keep hiking for about 5 miles one way — but the summer temps were creeping up near 100 and it was probably best to come back in the fall).

We climbed up to these fragile dwellings, just past House on Fire
This very complex structure has multiple rooms and stairs! Really awesome!
multi-room dwelling nestled high into the cliffs

There are many things in life that take my breath away. Most of them live in the desert. This hike ranks up there as one of those moments where I have to stop and remember that we have such a special and beautiful planet Earth — and that we need to protect her, fiercely.


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