Year round trips available daily
6 Years Old (Call us if you have a younger explorer)
10% discount available for 4+ guests
The Citadel is the Cedar Mesa Classic day hike and is our favorite day hike in the entire region. If you love to hike and have just one day to spend hiking in Bears Ears then this is the hike to do. With breathtaking views of Road Canyon in all directions you’ll realize how small you are on this beautiful earth. You’ll cross a land bridge with sheer drop offs on both sides of you and reach an ancient defensive cliff dwelling only accessible via the land bridge. For most people this hike will take a full day, but if you are a fast hiker some also have time to visit the nearby Fallen Roof Ruins or 7 Kivas.
- 4×4 Transportation
- Professional Guide
- Snacks and water
- The Citadel – Ancient Ancestral Puebloan Ruin
- Desert Flora and Fauna
- Breathtaking Views
- Remote Wilderness – Solitude
Moderate – Strenuous. 5 miles Round Trip with some exposed easy scrambling on sandstone.
- Hiking day pack to carry water and snacks
- 2 Reusable water bottles or hydration pack
- Comfortable Hiking Shoes
- Lightweight windbreaker or jacket (spring and fall trips)
- Hiking poles with rubber tips
Meet at Wild Expeditions at 8m the morning of your trip to meet your guide and fill up your water bottles or hydration packs. We’ll load up a Jeep or Van depending on the size of your group and head west of Bluff towards Cedar Mesa. The drive to the trailhead is about an hour long drive, but is a spectacular drive which includes the Moki Dugway whichs ascends 1200 feet in less than 3 miles of gravel road cut into the side of the sandstone cliffs.
Once on top of Cedar Mesa we’ll head to Cigarette Springs road which is a 4×4 recommended dirt back road. Once arriving at our trailhead the hike starts off with an easy walk following an unmarked drainage which drops into Road Canyon. We’ll stop off to see some hidden cliff dwellings along the way and eventually reach the rim of Road Canyon. At the point the canyon drops dramatically several hundred feet at a time offering breathtaking views of the canyon below. We’ll stay on the rim to a small pathway leading down to a land bridge to access the Citadel. Route finding can be very difficult for people new to the region in this section, but your guide will take you the best route down the exposed ledges to the land bridge. It is called a land bridge because the canyon drops off on both sides of the spine of rock leading out to an island of rock called the Citadel. It feels like you are walking on another planet as we step out onto the bridge with views in every direction. The bridge is about 300 yards long accessing the Citadel and finishes with a very unique cliff dwelling built on the island of rock. This was likely a defensive structure due to it’s inaccessible location. We’ll stop in some shade with a nice view for a picnic lunch before exploring the site. Getting here takes some easy to moderate scrambling up and down sandstone ledges, but don’t fret as your guide will lend a hand anytime if needed.
After exploring the Citadel most groups are ready to call it a day, but hikers that are very fit may have time to explore another nearby site such as Fallen Roof or 7 Kivas. Citadel is the all time favorite for us and when you come you’ll see why. Pictures can’t do this place justice.