The Maze and the Mesa | Day 7
Friday, April 15, 2011
When we woke up on Friday morning it was about 26 degrees out…the coldest morning so far on the trip! We had another quick breakfast and then took off for the Government Trailhead. Soon we were hiking across Pollys Pasture until we reached the Government Trail that drops down into Grand Gulch.
The sign marking the descent into Grand Gulch.
A view over Grand Gulch as we head down the Government Trail.
Once we reached the bottom of Grand Gulch we headed upstream to the Big Man Panel. Along the way we passed a small and well preserved granary on a ledge above us.
Soon we reached the Big Man Panel. We spent some time exploring the area and taking plenty of photos.
A closer look at the Big Man Panel.
An overview of the large alcove this panel is found in.
There were plenty of handprints next to the large anthropomorphs.
It was a nice easy hike to reach the panel, but the hike back out to the trailhead was a bit slower and more tiring. When we arrived back at the Jeep we still had plenty of time to explore some more. Since Jared hadn’t been to the Snake House Ruins before, we decided to head over there. That way we could stop in Mexican Hat for some dinner afterwards.
Pictographs found to the left of The Snake House.
The large snake pictograph and other designs on the alcove ceiling for which these ruins are named. These ruins are also known as the River House Ruins since they are along the San Juan River.
A closer look at the white pictographs over part of the snake.
A T-shaped door in black & white.
Jared checks out part of The Snake House.
Hidden on the back wall inside one of the small rooms were a number of white handprints with interesting designs.
An interesting granary near The Snake House.
After exploring the Snake House Ruins we continued on and visited the Butler Wash Petroglyph Panel. This is a wide overview of the Shamans Panel.
A close up look at a few Basketmaker anthropomorphs that make up the Shamans Panel.
One of the many petroglyphs found on the Butler Wash Panel.
I always enjoy visiting rock art sites multiple times (especially the larger sites like this one) because I’m always finding new things on each visit. This faint panel is one I missed the last time. If you look closely you will see a large anthropomorph with a headdress, a set of hands, another large figure that looks like it might be playing a flute and even a duck-headed figure…among many others.
Here’s another of the many faint panels that are hard to see that I was able to bring out better in this photo. There’s also an upside down anthropomorph found here.
The bighorn sheep on the right has long curly horns.
After visiting the rock art panel we headed back to Mexican Hat and had some steaks from the Swingin’ Steak for dinner. There was still a little sunlight left after we were done eating, so we stopped at Gooseneck State Park to take a few photos before driving back up to camp for the night.
The sun sets on the goosenecks.
Jared taking a photo.
I just love the sunbursts from my 16-35mm lens!
Resting at the campfire after another long but exciting day.