Those seeking high elevation and historical artifacts will love Beef Basin. A relatively easy trail, the route passes alongside an incredible amount of Native American ruins. The road is entirely on BLM and National Forest land and allows unlicensed vehicles. If your vehicle is unlicensed, avoid the alternate exit through Canyonlands National Park. Consider camping and taking day hikes to old cave dwellings. Remember: it is a federal crime to alter or remove anything from historical sites.
The ruins in Beef Basin were built by Anasazi Native Americans in the 11th and 12th centuries. The tribe survived by growing corn, beans and squash in small patches across this barren landscape. Plants were meticulously watered by hand.
From Moab, drive south on Highway 191 about 40 miles and turn right on Highway 211. Continue west 20.3 miles and turn left on Cottonwood Canyon Road, C.R. 107, at sign to Beef Basin. Look for vault toilet. Don't miss a large display of petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock on Highway 211 on your way to the trail.