You can only visit Ute Tribal Park with
a Ute Guide. A full day tour or half day tour can be arranged — but
There are four ruins that are included on the full day
tour. All of the ruins included on the tour are located within a short
distance of each other in alcoves of Lion Canyon. Entry to the canyon requires descent
down three ladders as you drop about 90 feet from the mesa top.
Tree House cliff dwelling, like most of the others
built in Lion Canyon, was built around 1140 A.D. and was initially
occupied for fifteen to twenty years. The Anasazi moved to another
location and returned to the site in 1195. Each dwelling was rebuilt
and occupied for about one full generation, then forever abandoned.
Thousands of pieces of
pottery shards, scattered like bits of an unfinished mosaic, cluster around
the sites. There
are many different sources of the pottery demonstrating the trading network
that existed. The pieces run the gamut from white to red to intricate
black geometric designs. There are trails that lead from the Ute Mountain Tribal Park
to Chaco, Grand Canyon, Hovenweep, and other trading clans.
Eagle Nest is the last of the ruins open to the public on the
tour. Access to this ruin is provided by a fourth ladder about 30 feet long and not for the
faint of heart. It was once a 19 room dwelling, and contains a kiva that
was once covered by a roof and accessible by ladder, and displays a magical
painting around its interior walls.