There was a beautiful sunrise a few weekends ago as I was on my way to hike and search for some new rock art and ruins in Southern Utah. I just happened to be near this large boulder with Ute petroglyphs at the time and thought it might make a nice image. As the early morning sunlight bounced off the clouds above everything was bathed in a red glow for a few minutes. The storm clouds in the background were nice, too.
These petroglyphs of bighorn sheep have eluded me for quite some time. I have searched for them before during the many times I have driven through Indian Creek Canyon over the past few years. I knew they were along the road somewhere, but was never able to find them. While driving back from Beef Basin this past weekend, I wasn’t even looking for new rock art when I managed to spot a few new petroglyphs out of the corner of my eye. I almost didn’t stop, but at the last second I decided to pull over and hike back for a few photos. I’m glad I did, because not only did I find the original petroglyphs I spotted, but I finally found this panel nearby. Maybe one day I’ll be able to drive through Indian Creek Canyon without finding any new rock art, but until that point it’s nice to find new things on each visit.
Earlier this month I spent some time searching The Needles and Indian Creek for ruins and rock art. As I searched along Indian Creek, I found this nice panel of white pictographs. Most of it is comprised of white dots arranged in lines that remind me of the panel near Peekaboo Spring in Salt Creek Canyon. There are also a few different kinds of handprints found here.
I’ll start the week off with one of my favorite photos of Newspaper Rock. Here’s a nice overview of most of the panel that is well-known and found along Indian Creek on the way to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. There’s just so much to see on this panel. I have stopped here many times over the years and I always notice something new each time.
One of the many scenes found on Newspaper Rock along Indian Creek on your way to Canyonlands. The hunter on horseback appears to have just shot an arrow at a deer or an elk and hit their target. I love visiting this site and seem to stop at it at least a few times each year. It always seems like I discover something new on this panel every time I visit.
I’ve realized that I’ve been posting a lot of Barrier Canyon Style photos lately (well, they are my favorite ones), so here’s a look up at one of the many petroglyph panels in Shay Canyon. These are believed to be Anasazi, but there are certainly figures in the area the look Fremont, too. Shay Canyon contains quite a few excellent petroglyph panels that are easy to access and great to explore, which are also very well preserved. When I visited Shay Canyon earlier this year, the sky was overcast almost the whole time, but shortly before I left the area there were a couple of small breaks in the clouds. This was one of the few photos I got that included some blue sky that day.
While exploring a small side canyon off of Indian Creek I came across this anthropomorphic petroglyph all by itself. The square and tapered body reminds me of the many Fremont figures I have seen further north, but the Fremont are not thought to have lived in this area. Perhaps the Anasazi copied the style or maybe the Fremont passed through or camped in this area while hunting? While we will never know the exact origin of this petroglyph, it’s still an interesting yet very simple figure.