The Fallen Roof
It was the final full day of my trip. I knew where I wanted to camp that night and I had plenty of time to get there. There was just one more site that I wanted to visit, and it was on the way to my camp site for the night.
I’d seen pictures of the Fallen Roof Ruin before and thought it looked like an interesting site. I took a long sandy road to the trail head, collected my gear and headed down the well-marked trail. I was on top of a huge mesa, surrounded pinyon and juniper pines just tall enough to offer some shade. It wasn’t long before I had reached the edge of a canyon and the trail that would lead me to the bottom. After a very steep few yards, the trail eventually brought me to the bottom of the canyon and a huge dry river bed. Parts of the bed were solid pieces of stone as wide as a city street, and on each side of the river bed were bent, mangled trees and clumps of debris–evidence of raging currents past. Certainly not a good place to be in the event of a flash flood.
I only had to follow the river bed for about a mile before I found the ruins. Looking upward, perhaps 200-300 feet to the top edge of the canyon wall to my left, I recognized the section of rock that had come to be known as the “Fallen Roof”. I couldn’t actually see the dwelling, but I’d seen enough photos of this location to be fairly sure that this was the place. My eyes scanned the canyon wall for the least difficult route to the ruin, and I began to make my way up the sandstone wall to the site. Once there, I found that the ceiling of the alcove (where the 3 room ruin was built) was as interesting as the ruin itself. It was obvious that over time, thick slabs of solid rock had fallen from the portion of the mesa that served as the roof. Pieces of the slabs still lie on the ground at the site, some as thick as 6″. The portions that didn’t fall were charred almost black from fires made by those who lived her long ago. The residents had also created hand-print images on the dark rock by placing a hand against the rock and then throwing a light-colored paint at it.