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Photo gallery: prehistoric Native American ruins

Photo gallery: prehistoric Native American ruins

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Estimated read time: Less than a minute

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah and its neighboring states are home to tens of thousands of Native American cliff dwellings, granaries and other relics. Our state’s crown jewel is undoubtedly the Range Creek Ranch in the Book Cliffs area of Emery County. The 4,200-acre property was zealously guarded for generations, ensuring that hundreds of its Fremont sites remained untouched by looters and vandals. Exploring Range Creek is like stepping back in time, and Utah’s former state archaeologist Kevin Jones has often referred to it as a nation treasure.

The rest of Utah’s ruins range from large complexes reconstructed for tourists, to tiny dwellings in forgotten canyons — I definitely prefer the latter. The photos in this gallery have all been taken in areas that are less than a 10-hour drive from Salt Lake City. Some are well-known tourist destinations and some are unnamed dwellings that took extensive exploring to locate.

Grant Olsen joined the team in 2012 as a contributing writer. He covers travel, outdoor adventures, and other interesting things. Contact him at


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Grant Olsen


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