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FEATURED OUTDOOR ADVENTURE
Dark Canyon, Utah, (including the Manti La Sal National Forest - South)
Dark Canyon is located in south eastern Utah, south west of Moab and north of Monument Valley. Most of Dark Canyon is located in the Manti La Sal National forest at an average elevation of around 8000 feet. Initially, the attraction of this area was the stunning scenery and thickly wooded forests, but the more we saw and the more we researched the area, it was clear that it held another attraction - Anasazi history.
Many hundreds of years ago, the Four Corners area of the south western United States supported a significant and thriving Anasazi community whose influence stretched for hundreds of miles in all directions. This general area, which includes Dark Canyon, was a major commercial, religious and social hub from about 700 AD to about 1100 AD (source: Anasazi America, David Stewart, University of New Mexico Press). Stewart says:
“At the height of their power in the late eleventh century, the Chaco Anasazi dominated a territory in the American Southwest larger than any European principality of the time. A vast and powerful alliance of thousands of farming hamlets and nearly 100 spectacular towns integrated the region through economic and religious ties, and the whole system was interconnected with hundreds of miles of roads. It took these Anasazi farmers more than seven centuries to lay the agricultural, organizational, and technological groundwork for the creation of classic Chacoan civilization, which lasted about 200 years--only to collapse spectacularly in a mere 40."
Our adventure provided us with some of the most spectacular scenery in the US and a small glimpse of the magnitude of the Anasazi civilization.
View from Camp
Manti La Sal Forest
Click here for the full trip report.