When I spent the weekend in Nevada before finishing my drive to Death Valley, I really thought that the Kohta Circus petroglyphs were going to be the highlight of my visit. I was wrong. Before leaving on Sunday, I stopped to find the Falling Man petroglyph. I had a lot of fun exploring this area. Not only were there petroglyphs to find everywhere I looked, but there was also colorful sandstone all over the place. It was like walking through a colorful maze searching for rock art around every corner! I spent more time in this area than I had anticipated and look forward to returning.
While I was out exploring the Paria Plateau in Arizona last weekend, I spotted this nice petroglyph panel high up on one of the sandstone buttes. The main anthropomorph with the spiral head is probably between three and four feet in height for a little scale. I like the way the lines in the sandstone lead down towards a small alcove located below.
Talk about an interesting petroglyph! I’d been looking for this petroglyph panel for a while, and even though I knew the general area it was located in, it seemed to elude me. When I finally found it last month, I realized that I had been within 20 feet of it in the past, but just didn’t hike quite far enough to reach it. It appears that these petroglyphs have been re-pecked more recently than some of the surrounding ones that aren’t pictured here.
Have I got a story for you… This past weekend I spent three days with some good friends exploring the Beef Basin area. One of my main goals this trip was to locate the petroglyph panel above, though I really had no information about it’s location other than one photo I had found. I spent all day on Saturday searching for this panel with no luck, and it looked like I would be going home empty handed on this trip. On Sunday, I was actually leaving Beef Basin when I had one more idea and decided to turn around so I could check out one last area. As luck would have it, I managed to locate the panel! It felt great after being defeated the previous day. Not only is this an amazing petroglyph panel with designs and figures I have not seen anywhere else before, but it was also located high up in a pass through a notch in a cliff that offered commanding views of the entire Canyonlands region. I could definitely see why this spot would be important and special to the creators of this rock art.
A little-known ruin hidden away on Cedar Mesa under a beautiful sky, taken shortly before sunset. I managed to find this special ruin a few months back, after searching for it for quite a while, but the conditions were not that great for a good photo. I knew I would have to return again! This time all the elements came together nicely for this photo.
Earlier this month I set out to find this particular pictograph in the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument that has intrigued me for quite a while. As far as I know, this may be the only pictograph depicting a dinosaur track! There is a very impressive dinosaur trackway located right near these pictographs. I wonder what kind of myths the Native Americans had about the tracks found at this site, especially since some of them appear to head right off the edge of a 1,000+ foot cliff?
Here are a couple of the tracks found at the site:
On my way to Canyonlands and Horse Canyon last weekend, I stopped to find a ruin that I have driven by many times before yet had never been able to find. This time I managed to spot it high above the canyon floor so that I could get a photo. I didn’t have time to hike up to it, but I did take this photo with my long lens from far below.
We sure did see a lot of ‘faces’ pictographs last weekend in Canyonlands National Park. Besides the Thirteen Faces and Nine Faces panels, we also found the Eleven Faces. While there may have been Eleven Faces in this panel at one point in time, eight of them are really still visible. The three figures in the photo above were the three rightmost faces in the panel. Unfortunately, calcite has been leaching from the sandstone that these pictographs were painted on, so much of it has been covered in the white substance, making it difficult to photograph. I did my best to bring out the details in this photo.
I first noticed this high pictograph panel in May when I backpacked to Peekaboo Spring in Salt Creek Canyon. Since I didn’t have my long lens on that trip (too much weight), I couldn’t get a decent photo of the panel. Since I was able to drive to Peekaboo this last weekend I was able to get a closer photo of this very interesting panel. I took this photo just after sunrise when the early morning light was striking it directly for only a few moments.
Besides the very vivid reverse handprints and white zig-zag snakes, there is also an interesting large circular figure and two half circles that seem to have faded. Below those are a large white snake that is also pretty faded. The most interesting aspect of these pictographs is that they are painted very high up on a cliff with no current access to reach them…and we did try to find a way.
I just got back from a very humid weekend spent exploring Horse Canyon in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. I’ve been trying to get back into Horse Canyon for the last two years but the road has been washed out and closed for that long. When I received word a few weeks ago that the road had finally been reopened, I wasted no time and planned a trip out there…who knows when the next storm will close the road again? One of the main reasons to get back into Horse Canyon was so that I could finally visit the famous Thirteen Faces pictograph panel. This photo shows six of the Thirteen Faces, although you can really only see ten of the faces to begin with.
I’ll be posting more photos from this trip over the next week or two, so keep watching for them.
Here’s a large panel of red pictographs found on Cedar Mesa known as the Red Bear Panel. When I first came across this impressive panel, I was surprised as just how large the bear in the middle was. This photo doesn’t do it’s size justice. While bear petroglyphs are pretty common around Western Colorado and the Moab area, I can’t recall seeing any other bear imagery on Cedar Mesa before?
The Notch Panel is one of my favorite petroglyphs panels near the Utah – Arizona state line. I took this photo close to sunset so the direct golden light would help bring out the figures. The puffy clouds in the blue sky were a bonus! The maze-like design and two-headed snake are very unique and what sets this panel apart from others.