For the past few entries we have been looking at the many points of interest along Utah Hwy 95 between Hanksville and Blanding. This week we will focus on Fry Canyon where the highway makes a sweeping bend on its way to Natural Bridges National Monument. First, Fry Canyon is shown as a settlement on some older maps and even online route finding websites. There once was an outpost along Hwy 95 known as Fry Canyon with a cafe, fuel and even a RV park, but it ceased operation many years ago. Do not plan on obtaining any services at this location or anywhere within many miles! The Fry Canyon I am writing about is Fry Canyon the canyon as in a geological feature. There are three things worth mentioning about the canyon.
- Well preserved Anasazi ruins
- A short but scenic slot canyon perfect for beginning explorers
- A place to boondock while you explore
In this entry we will look at the ruins and some boondocking locations within walking distance.
Let’s start with the where to park the RV while you explore. If you don’t have the luxury of spending the night or care to boondock, you will find a large graveled pull-off along Hwy 95 to drop the RV at: N37 38.440 W110 09.769
To view the ruins, turn off Hwy 95 at N37 38.800 W110.10.035 onto unsigned Fry Canyon Ruins Road and travel 1/2 mile west to an overview of the ruins. The viewpoint sits upon a bluff with a commanding view of the ruins skillfully tucked in the alcove on the opposite side of the canyon. The ruins contain many rooms plus what looks to be a ceremonial kiva used for religious ritual. If you have a keen eye, see if you can spot the moki steps used to access the ruins from the rim of the canyon. These are still used by the very adventurous to access the ruins today. If you chose to do so; just remember this is not Disneyland and your safety is not guaranteed!
If you want to boondock near the ruins, the first decent boondocking sites are reached about 800’ after leaving the asphalt. Of course, like most boondocking locations, the better sites are farther in where the road becomes rougher. Best to walk in first and check out the RV access if you are not a fan of rough access roads. Note: The first big open area you encounter is an emergency air strip. Do not camp here unless you want the possibility of experiencing a very unfortunate adventure in RVing!
Those without a tow vehicle, dingy or with a dislike of driving dirt roads can walk (just less than a mile one way) from the RV parking pull-out mentioned above to the overview.
Boondocking near the ghosts of the ancient ones, just another adventure in RVing!