Anasazi State Park
At this excellent state park (Hwy. 12 one mile north of Boulder, 435/335-7308, www.stateparks.utah.gov, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, $5 per person), museum exhibits, an excavated village site, and a pueblo replica provide a look into the life of these ancient people.
The Anasazi stayed here for 50–75 years sometime between A.D. 1050 and 1200. They grew corn, beans, and squash in fields nearby. The village population peaked at about 200, with an estimated 40–50 dwellings.
Why the Anasazi left or where they went isn’t known for sure, but a fire swept through much of the village before the Anasazi abandoned it. Perhaps they burned the village on purpose, knowing they would move on.
University of Utah students and faculty excavated the village, known as the Coombs Site, in 1958 and 1959. You can view pottery, axe heads, arrow points, and other tools found at the site in the museum, along with delicate items like sandals and basketry that came from more protected sites elsewhere. A diorama shows how the village might have appeared in its heyday. You can see video programs on the Anasazi and modern tribes upon request.
The self-guided tour of the ruins begins behind the museum. You’ll see a whole range of Anasazi building styles—a pit house, masonry walls, jacal walls (mud reinforced by sticks), and combinations of masonry and jacal. Replicas of habitation and storage rooms behind the museum show complete construction details.
© W.C. McRae and Judy Jewell from Moon Utah, 9th Edition