The Grainary

One of my goal’s on this trip was to explore as many historic Native American sites as possible. Before I started my journey, I’d read about the Anasazi who lived in the Canyonlands area prior to 1300 A.D., and how they had built small granaries into the sides of buttes to store food that they had gathered. They lived in the canyons below, closer to water and therefore better for hunting. Frequent trips were made up out of the canyons, to the buttes above to gather food.

The grainary in this photo is on of three or four that were built into a layer near the top of Aztec Butte. It was a fairly easy hike with an elevation gain of less that 300 feet. Facing north, it never sees direct sunlight. The trail led me to the top of the butte, where it covered a few hundred yards of flat terrain before it ended at the very edge. I looked over the edge, determined to find these granaries that I’d read about. It looked like a narrow trail continued along the very steep side of the butte. I climbed over the edge and very carefully made my way along the slippery sandstone trail. After a few minutes of following the trail, I found the grainary I was looking for. Built in a fairly large (I could almost stand up straight) alcove, this one is notable for its natural pillar.

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