Here’s a close look up a large ladder petroglyph that I was searching for on my last visit to Comb Ridge. This is the first petroglyph of a ladder that I have found, and it’s pretty cool. It looks like the ladder and some of the other figures were carved over some much older petroglyphs. I can’t help but wonder if this ladder is some sort of communication about the very high and almost inaccessible ruin that is found further up the canyon?
A few weeks ago I spent a short day exploring Comb Ridge and revisiting a few sites I had been to before. One of the sites I revisited was The Procession Panel. This large petroglyph panel is situated near the crest of Comb Ridge and there are spectacular views over Cedar Mesa and Lime Ridge nearby. This petroglyph panel is named after the lines of small figures that appear to be in a ‘procession’ towards the large circle shown in this photo.
On our way home from the Arizona Strip, we made a detour along Comb Ridge to search for this petroglyph panel. The name Jump Rope Man comes from the central figure that appears to be jumping rope. I wonder what that figure could have represented? It’s not a very large panel, but it’s very unique and in great shape.
A small lizard-like stick figure with large hands and feet carved into a canyon wall near Butler Wash. Getting through all of the thick tamarisk to reach this and a few other panels near the San Juan River was an adventure, but it was worth it.
Here’s a portion of the Procession Panel located high up on the edge of Comb Ridge that contains two large elk or possibly some deer. This is a very unique panel that was very interesting to visit. On my hike up to the panel it actually started to sleet and snow on me, but luckily, by the time I reached the top it had stopped. I’m actually hoping to get back to this one at some point before the end of the year.
The Sand Island petroglyph site is one of the large sites that I have visited numerous times and I always seem to find something new on each visit. There is just so much to be seen here if you study the site closely. The main reason I am posting this photo today, which only shows a small section of the panel, is because of the mask-like petroglyphs that can be seen close to the center. These masks are very similar to the Green Mask pictograph that I posted a photo of yesterday.
Since I posted a photo of the Wolfman Panel earlier today, I’ll post this photo of the small ruin located across Butler Wash from the panel. I’m not sure if this particular ruin has a name, but I’m going to go ahead and call it the Wolfman Ruin because of it’s proximity to the rock art. You can spot this ruin across the canyon from the old parking area for the Wolfman Panel (I say ‘old’ because the BLM closed off access to the slickrock parking area sometime over the last year or so). Getting across the canyon to visit this ruin is a little bit trickier, but well worth the effort. There are also some faint petroglyphs found near this ruin if you spend the time to explore the area.
This anthropomorphic figure is to the left side of the main and larger set of petroglyphs known as the Wolfman Panel in Butler Wash. While this figure most likely doesn’t represent a ‘wolfman’ since large hands and feet are common in basketmaker petroglyphs, it certainly looks like one to me! This is a very interesting and easily accessible panel located near Bluff, Utah.
A beautifully executed Basketmaker petroglyph of what appears to be a large crane, hidden in one of the many canyons of Comb Ridge. With this photo I tried to convey the perception of the crane in flight by using the natural striations in the sandstone. The small curved step in the sandstone below the large bird gave me a nice lower frame for the scene, as well. Comb Ridge holds many secrets for those willing to explore it, and this large crane petroglyph is surely one of the numerous exceptional ones!