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From the Maze to the Mesa

The Maze and the Mesa | Day 4
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On our forth day Under the Ledge, we awoke to an awesome sunrise. The colors in the sky were just amazing! I quickly hopped out of my tent and grabbed my camera for a photo. When I got my shot composed, I realized that I had taken the battery out the previous night to charge in the Jeep and hadn’t replaced it! I ran back to the Jeep and grabbed the fully charged battery, but missed the best colors of the sunrise in the process. Here’s the shot I managed to get before all of the colors disappeared.

Color Over the La Sals by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After the colors over the La Sal Mountains were gone, I turned around and took a few more early morning shots.

Standing Rock bathed in golden early morning sunlight on our last day in the Land of Standing Rocks.

Standing Rock on Fire by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Lizard Rock and The Plug glowing in the early morning sunlight.

Lizard and The Plug by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The first light of the day strikes Ekker Butte and the rims of the canyons that make up The Maze.

First Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After sunrise we had some breakfast and packed up camp so that we could move on. We would have a long and full day ahead of us, since we would be leaving The Maze and heading over to Cedar Mesa…but there would be plenty of stops along the way. Before leaving The Maze we parked near Mother and Child Rock so that we could hike a little way into into Ernie’s country. We dropped down into Range Canyon so we could visit Cedar Bark Ruin and Lou’s Spring.

There has been some disagreement as to how old this ruin actually is, however, after seeing it in person, in my opinion, the ruin itself looks pretty old and not recently made, but the roof certainly looks newer, like someone may have added it. I’m no expert and these are just my impressions from my visit to the site.

Cedar Bark Ruin by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

These very faint pictographs found on the ceiling of the alcove that contains Lou’s Spring kind of remind me of the ones located across the Colorado River in Cave Spring in the Needles District.

Lous Spring Pictographs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After reaching the Jeeps again, we finally started to head out around Teapot Canyon. Along the rough road we met some of Canyonland’s rangers in 4×4 training. We had to wait for a few minutes to let them pass. They were driving the roughest stretch of road in the park’s 4-door Jeep Rubicon Wrangler.

Just a photo of my Jeep as we head out of The Maze.

Leaving the Maze by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A photo of Dave’s Jeep as we leave The Maze.

Daves Jeep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The 4-Wheel Drive High Clearance Only sign just before you get to the roughest section of the road into the Land of Standing Rocks around Teapot Canyon.

4WD Only by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After leaving The Maze we made our way over to pick up Jared’s car before heading over to Cedar Mesa for the rest of the week. Along the way we stopped at a few rock art sites. Here’s a bunch of photos from the sites we visited.

The Hollow Boulder Panel

An overview of the Hollow Boulder Panel. I’ve seen a lot of rock art, but this panel is certainly in one of the more unusual locations, especially for a Barrier Canyon Style panel. As you can see, these pictographs are located inside a large boulder that has a naturally hollowed out area big enough to stand in. Step inside and you are treated to an almost 360 degree display of rock art!

Hollow Boulder by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

One of the more interesting figures in the Hollow Boulder is this anthropomorph that appears to be holding five snakes.

Snakes In Hands by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A better look at the back of the boulder.

Inside the Boulder by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There are a lot of pictographs hidden inside this boulder.

Many Hidden Pictographs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

North Wash Pictographs & Petroglyphs

On the road in North Wash.

On the Road Again by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This photos shows just a small part of the very large alcove these are located in.

The Queens Alcove by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at the large anthropomorph and it’s attending dog.

The Queen & I by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

An interesting anthropomorph petroglyph set within some varnish-stripes.

Striped by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The full petroglyph panel over the stripes.

Striped Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The Perfect Panel

One of the most amazing pictograph panels I have visited. In the following photos, just check out how detailed these pictographs are. You can also see quite the resemblance to The Queen pictograph pictured just above.

The Perfect Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at the ‘hitchhiker’ figure of the Perfect Panel reveals that it’s fifth finger pointing down is not actually longer than the rest. There is actually a small quadruped figure just below the lower finger.

Thumbs Down by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at the two figures on the right side of the Perfect Panel. Just check out all the details these figures have. If you look closely at the figure on the left, you can see it has some long skinny legs and feet, too.

Tall & Skinny by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The largest figure on the panel also appears the most ghost-like.

Perfect Ghost by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Overview of the figure known as The Hitchhiker.

The Hitchhiker by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Jared and Dave hiking ahead of me in the canyon.

Hiking by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

While searching a Basketmaker alcove located not too far away from The Perfect Panel, Jared found this nice arrowhead just sitting on top of the sand. We left it in place, of course.

Arrowhead by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The Imperfect Panel

Not too far away from The Perfect Panel is another pictograph panel that hasn’t survived quite as well. I have seen this one called the Imperfect Panel elsewhere. If you look closely, you can see that these figures were once as detailed as those found in The Perfect Panel.

Imperfect Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Just a closer look at the panel so you can see the details. Click on the image to view a larger version.

Imperfect Panel Detail by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We eventually reached our campsite at Coyote Flat on Cedar Mesa just as it was getting pretty dark out. We setup camp quickly and had a very late dinner. We went to bed early since Wednesday was going to be another early start for us.

>> From the Maze to the Mesa Photo Gallery


  1. Pat Duvall
    Pat Duvall February 27, 2013

    Hello, Regarding the photos: “From the Maze to the Mesa.” I have visited the Moqui Queen pictograph in the North Wash. My interest is in locating the Perfect Panel Pictograph, based on what information I have this pictograph is somewhere in the North Wash. The similarity this panel has with the Moqui Queen would lead one to believe they were all done by the same person or same group. If you would be so kind as to provide directions to the Perfect Panel Pictograph, it would be most appreciated. Thank You

  2. Paul Johnson
    Paul Johnson November 20, 2013

    Very well done blog; the photography is excellent, particularly
    the rock art. We have tracked SW rock art on sporadic
    vacations (we are in MT) for the last 15 years, but much of what you display
    is new to us — which is inspiring.

    Great armchair travel, thanx…


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