Discover San Juan County Excursions
Excursion G: Mule Canyon Towers – Bears Ears National Monument
(Limited to 30 participants)
The Mule Canyon Towers Tower site goes by many names including: Cave Tower Ruins, Mule Canyon Towers, Seven Tower Ruins, and the Five Tower Site. The ruin features the remains of towers perched on both sides of the head of Cave Canyon. There is no way of knowing the exact purpose of these towers. While they seem defensive in nature, we shouldn’t be too quick to assign that role. They are not closely associated with a village so there is no logical place for them to protect. There is a water source at the head of Cave Canyon and it is possible that this had some bearing on the use of the towers. Maybe they were used for communication, observation or religious reasons. Although there is no substantial village associated with the towers, there are a number of small sites and structures tucked into the alcoves on both sides of the canyon. As the canyon drops steeply from the towers, exposed rock layers provide good building sites. With binoculars, a few sites below the south/west rim and a number of structures and small building groups on the north/east side of the canyon can be spotted. (source: BLM and Ancestral PuebloansHikes.com)
Hiking Information: This includes a 1-mile round-trip hike. This short trail stays on top of the mesa with great views of Elk Ridge and the Rocky Mountains. The hike ends at seven ancient towers built near the edge of a cliff.