Yesterday I headed to Moab again to do a little exploring and hiking in the Arches National Park backcountry with a friend. For a change I actually wasn’t looking for any new rock art panels on this trip. I just wanted to get out and explore a new area. Of course, I still keep my eyes open and look for rock art whenever I hike, just in case I happen to wander by some…which is what happened on this trip. As we were hiking down a small drainage, I noticed an area that looked like it might contain some petroglyphs. After hiking up to it, I was excited and surprised to find this panel containing many sheep and a few large circles. There are also a few long-necked figures in the upper right, too.
The Courthouse Wash pictographs located just inside of Arches National Park near Moab are an amazing display of Barrier Canyon Style pictographs. Unfortunately, in 1980 vandals made an effort to destroy this panel by scrubbing it with stiff brushes and a cleaning abrasive. The National Park Service has attempted to repair some of the damage, leaving the panel in the state you see in my photo above. I have seen some photos of this panel pre-1980 and it was definitely an amazing site. I would have loved to have seen it before it was vandalized. This panel really gets washed out while in direct sunlight, but luckily, while I was there a big cloud blocked the sun for a short time and I was able to get a few good shots where I could bring out some more of the details.