The Cedar Mesa country in southeast Utah is a land of convoluted cliffs with arches, natural bridges, hoodoos, spires, hat rocks, ledges, and alcoves. It is a land of flash floods and extreme temperatures that demands much from those who would explore it. It is also an unparalleled museum of geological features and ancestral Puebloan culture. This fascinating culture flowered for more than a millennium and visitors to southeast Utah are treated to a sampling of archaeological wonders. A Hiking Guide to Cedar Mesa describes sixty-three routes, ranging from quarter-mile walks to fifteen-mile day hikes, loops, and multi-day backpack trips. There is essential information on permits, weather, gear, road, trailhead access, geology, human history in the region, and leave--trace camping. Care is given to name only those well-kwn archaeological sites that are visible or immediately accessible from roads. Throughout, the author emphasizes proper visitation protocol for fragile archaeological sites. He states, I have been touched by this landscape and would prefer to keep its teachings and secrets to myself, but I cant. The experience of the desert should be available to everyone with the motivation to encounter it.
Peter Francis Tassoni has worked as a river guide and BLM ranger. His articles on adventure and the environment have appeared in regional and national periodicals.