Travel Curious

For independent travelers who want to dig deeper

Pedestal Rock Ruin

Known as Elevator Ruin or Pedestal Rock Ruin, the reason for the name becomes very obvious once you see it.

Lower Butler Wash road elevator ruin 2
The ancient Puebloan Indians who built their home here were truly ambitious or just really valued a good view. There are no other ruins around Comb Ridge or along the Lower Bulter Wash Road in Bears Ears National Monument that come close to what you will see here.
One of the first questions you will have is how did they get to and from their dwellings? They either climbed down to them from the mesa above, climbed up from the base below or possibly scaled the rubble pile to the left of the ruins and worked their way across the ledge running directly behind the ruins.
My guess is they got to their homes via the rubble pile and ledge.
There are the remains of a structure on the far left of the ledge that might have acted as a security feature to block access to the ledge leading out to the main dwellings.
There is also the remains of a granary to the far left at the top of the rubble pile. There is a seep, another word for a spring to the left of the main ruins, you can see where all the vegetation is taking advantage of it.
Climbing to the top of the rubble pile on the left gets you closer to eye level with the main ruins and an idea of the view they had looking out over the distance.
With binoculars, you can see the rock art behind the ruins.
Photo Notes
In the late afternoon, the ruins are in full sun.
  • Dogs okay
  • Hiking Poles
  • Binoculars
1.2 mile total out and back
  • From the parking area walk south cross-country following the cliffs at a distance for about 1/2 mile, often crossing gullies and different social trails. This beginning area is confusing but the further south you get the less false trails there will be until you get onto a single trail that will take you eventually to the ruins.
  • Follow the trail always paralleling the cliffs, eventually where the cliffs angle back southeast the trail will lead you to the foot of Pedestal Rock at ( 37.305278, -109.622222 )

Following the trail south to pedestal rock ruins
Following the trail south 


rubble pile to the left, and the main ruins on the right ontop of the rock pedestal
You can see the rubble pile to the left, the ledge with the structure on the left, the seep in the middle, and the main ruins on the right on top of the rock pedestal


A side view of pedestal rock ruins
What a view they must have had


A close up fo the ruins

Getting to the Pedestal Rock Ruins
  • All sites on the Lower Butler Wash road can be reached from the north from Highway 95, or the south from Highway 163. The road is a good quality dirt road that cars can traverse.


From the North

  • Exit south from Highway 95 at ( 37.534608, -109.620771 ) onto the un-named dirt road
  • Continue for 0.3 miles (passing the dinosaur footprints trailhead).
  • At the T, turn right onto Lower Butler Wash road (country road 262), and continue south for 11 miles.
  • Turn right at the Y at ( 37.392207, -109.618686 ) and continue south for 5.9 miles.
  • The turn-off for the short spur road to the parking area for the Pedestal Ruin from Lower Butler wash road is at ( 37.317196, -109.625605 )
  • You might need a 4-wheel drive to make it up the first hill, then it’s about 1/2 mile to the trailhead. If you can’t make it up the first hill you can park and walk to the trailhead.

From the South

  • Exit north from Highway 163 at ( 37.264230, -109.641849 )
  • Follow Lower Butler Wash road north for 4.1 miles.
  • The turn-off for the short spur road to the parking area for the Pedestal Ruins from Lower Butler wash road is at ( 37.317196, -109.625605 )
  • You might need a 4-wheel drive to make it up the first hill, then it’s about 1/2 mile to the trailhead. If you can’t make it up the first hill you can park and walk to the trailhead.
( 37.312500,-109.624444 )

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