May 14, 2016

Rock Art along the San Rafael River

On a trip to the San Rafael River near Castle Dale, Utah, we hoped to find interesting rock art.
With all the beautiful scenery along the ride, we would have been happy campers even if we had made no new discoveries.
We made a short side trip to Cane Wash to view a panel we had seen once before.  Note the hand print, which is about the size of an average 12 year old in today's world.
The river shone in the sun, the temperature stayed in the 60's, and the trail along the river was easy to follow and nice traveling for the horses.
We climbed away from the river to some cliffs where we hoped to find rock art.  On the other side of the rock formation behind Janie and Mischief, we found this polychromatic panel:
Daisy was not impressed, even though the red and yellow pictograph coloring is unusual.
The location is high above the river, possibly a lookout post 1000 or more years ago.  The artists would have enjoyed the above view while creating their pictographs.
Is this a "stairway to heaven"?  
Note the animals depicted.  Maybe the representations were meant to bring good luck in hunting.  
We Three Kings of ancient Utah are?  The 3 figures all wear different robes.  Maybe the styles indicate rank or an individual's role in the tribe.    
Later, Steve climbed up to the cliffs to check out the smooth sandstone panels for art.
 He found some petroglyphs, such as the above spiral (a figure common in rock art),
 and some faded figures. Do you see the star on the right?  Maybe the 3 kings were following it...


  1. Wow. I agree the scenery is gorgeous, but the rock art is SO cool to see. Amazing how it's lasted for so long. Glad to See Miss Daisy is still up and running with you!

  2. The color on those pictographs is still so vivid must be well protected from the elements. Looks like a great ride.



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