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.
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.
Near the point in Snake Gulch where we turned around and headed back up canyon, we came across a large alcove that had the highest concentration of pictographs we had come across all day. Many of them were still in great condition and some of the largest ones we had seen that day. This is a look up into part of the large alcove with a few of the larger anthropomorphs.
The last long hike we had planned for our Arizona Strip trip was into Snake Gulch. This turned out to be a long hike at about fifteen miles, but the terrain was relatively flat so it was a pretty easy hike. Along the way there are a lot of pictographs to find. Many of them are badly faded and weathered, but there are some that are in great condition, too. Watching the walls for rock art and stopping to photograph them made this hike an all day affair for us. We actually missed this pair of pictographs on our way down-canyon, but luckily we spotted them on our way back up-canyon to camp.
Since I posted a photo from the Notch Panel earlier this morning, I’m going to post one more from the same location. This is probably my favorite part of the entire panel. The maze-like design is very unique and stands out well, but the most interesting part is the spiraled snake. This snake has two heads, which I don’t think I have seen anywhere else. Very cool!
After visiting the Shamans Gallery we decided to take a relaxing dayy off from rock art and visit the White Pocket. Of course, we did have to stop and find one petroglyph panel along the way. The Notch Panel is located in a very prominent and easy to spot location. There are two large main panels located right next to each other and the photo above shows the one on the right. As usual, there are many bighorn sheep, spirals and a few footprints.
This will be my last photo from the Shamans Gallery for the week. I figure you’ve seen enough of this outstanding panel posted here already. I just wanted to post this last photo from the Spirit Shelter showing my friend Jared photographing part of the panel to help give it some scale. This photo also helps give you a feel for the setting of these pictographs in the canyon.
Here’s a closer look at a small portion of the Shamans Gallery. This part features one of the better preserved sheep pictographs contained in the panel. If you look closely, you can see a fainter figure that the sheep was painted over. There are a lot of layers of paintings at this site, which means it was probably an important place for a long time.
Since I posted a photo yesterday of the left side of the Shamans Gallery, I figured that I would post one from the right side today. That way you can get a nice overview of what most of the panel looks like. I guess this is going to be the Shamans Gallery week, so I’ll be posting some close-ups of interesting areas over the next few days.
Visiting the Shamans Gallery has been very high on my to-do list for a while and it was actually the main reason I planned a trip out to the Arizona Strip this fall. After hiking down into Tuckup Canyon I finally realized that goal when I was face to face with these amazing pictographs. The detail and colors used here is outstanding, and these pictographs are not like anything I have seen before. The big climb back out of the canyon was worth it to visit this site. This photo does not show the complete panel, only the right side of it. I will be posting a few more photos of this panel throughout the week.
This isn’t a great photo, but it’s the best I could do with this very faded panel. I wanted to post a photo of this panel because it is the first example of Grand Canyon Polychrome / Esplanade Style pictographs that I have found. This is not a very well-known panel, but I managed to do enough research before my trip to the Arizona Strip so that we could locate it. It was an exciting find, but a difficult hike! If you look closely at the mostly white figures in this panel, you will notice that there appears to be some fine red detail that is present. There also appears to be red snake-like lines that connect all of the figures in this scene. You might need to click on the image to view a larger size to see these details. It’s very interesting to examine.
I took many photos while exploring Nampaweap, so here’s another section with a bunch of petroglyphs all over the place. There were petroglyphs on many of the boulders in the area so we had to be very careful where we stepped and placed our hands while we explored the area so we didn’t touch or step on any of the petroglyphs.
After leaving Paiute Cave we found our way over to Nampaweap to explore the countless petroglyphs found all over the boulders and cliff faces in the area. Nampaweap means “foot canyon” in Paiute. This canyon may have been an important prehistoric travel corridor from the Grand Canyon to the resources of the ponderosa pine country around Mount Trumbull. This is also one of the largest known rock art sites on the Arizona Strip. This photo shows a typical scene found at Nampaweap. There are plenty of boulders, petroglyphs and lichen in the area. We found a lot of petroglyphs on our visit, but I’m sure we probably missed many of them, too. This site will definitely require another visit or two when I have the chance.
After our visit to the Canaan Gap petroglyphs, we continued back down into Arizona again so that we could stop at a few more sites on our way to Toroweap. The next stop was to a collapsed lava tube known as Paiute Cave that contains a few very vibrant pictographs. Here are three anthropomorphs that are all painted different colors. Below them and to the left is a large painted rainbow. This was a very interesting site to visit, but difficult to photograph because of the low light and large loose boulders. A tripod was mandatory in the cave.