‘Swell’ Rock Art & Arches

Saturday, November 6, 2010

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve sort of been in a rock art mood lately. I figured I would keep in the rock art mood by heading over to the San Rafael Swell to check out a few of the rock art sites I have missed in the past.

Morning along Cottonwood Road

Bottleneck Peak

Even though I’ve stopped at the Buckhorn Wash Pictographs plenty of times before, I took a few drive-by photos as I passed them.

A little further up the Buckhorn Draw Road I parked off to the side of the road and hiked up to Ruin Arch.

Ruin Arch…if you look closely you can see two petroglyphs inside the arch

Close-up of the petroglyphs

It’s a cool arch that is easy to miss when driving by on the road below unless you are looking for it

This is the only thing nearby the arch that could resemble ruins, so I am assuming this is the ruin that gives the arch it’s name

There is another small arch next to the ruins

There’s a lot of interesting shapes in the sandstone up by the arch

After visiting Ruin Arch, I made a large loop through Fuller Bottom and over to Ferron before heading south so that I could visit the Rochester Petroglyph Panel.

The main panel

The vertical line carved from the top of the panel to the bottom was interesting

Another panel around the corner

I spent a while checking out the main panel and searching the area for other petroglyphs. After I hiked back to the Jeep I made my way over to the Moore Cutoff Road and took it back to I-70. I headed east and exited again so that I could check out the pictographs at Locomotive Point (Head of Sinbad).

The first panel was a bit faded

A rockfall has taken it’s toll on these pictographs

The next panel contained some of the best preserved pictographs I have come across

Since I was nearby, I stopped at Dutchman Arch

I headed east again through the San Rafael Reef before stopping again so that I could hike up Petroglyph Canyon and Arch Canyon.

The small, but well preserved panel in Petroglyph Canyon. I found the tracks behind each figure interesting on this one

Spirit Arch in Arch Canyon

Since I was in the neighborhood, I figured that I’d make a quick stop at the pictographs in Black Dragon Canyon before heading home.

The ‘Black Dragon’

On my way home I was treated to a very colorful sunset, so I had to pull over and take a quick picture over the Book Cliffs


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