House on Fire Ruin
Mule Canyon, Utah
House on Fire Ruin, located in Mule Canyon, is a remote untouched ruin that appears to have flames shooting from the ceiling—the phenomenon is thanks to an interesting pattern in the sandstone roof of the alcove.
To reach the ruin, simply locate the trailhead at the mouth of the south fork of Mule Canyon—from the trailhead, head west into the canyon along a sandy wash. After crossing the usually dry streambed upteen times, you will round a bend and find House on Fire located in an alcove approximately 20 feet above the floor of Mule Canyon—the ruins are located about a mile from the trailhead.
The best time to photograph and explore House on Fire, aka Flaming Ceiling Ruin, is in late morning—if the sun is too high in the sky the ruin will be in direct light, which washes out the fire. We arrived at about 12:30pm and still found the ruins in shade—allowing the reflected light from the canyon to set the house aflame. After we finished photographing the ruins, we ventured into an alcove off to the left where we had read that it was possible to locate some handprints and sure enough we found them with no problem—the haunting look of the ancient handprints is worth the small excursion.