McDonald Creek & Book Cliffs Rock Art

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Here are some photos I took on a local day trip into McDonald Creek and the Book Cliffs near the Colorado-Utah state line. Of course, I was searching for rock art…

First up was a nice hike down McDonald Creek to the Colorado River. I’ve hiked this canyon before, but realized that I missed some rock art on my previous trip. It was a good opportunity to re-photograph the sites I had visited previously, too.

A very small and easily missed set of pictographs.

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Small Pictographs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

These pictographs are located in a large alcove overlooking the Colorado River.

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McDonald Creek Alcove by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

My favorite panel along McDonald Creek.

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The Bird and the Sun by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finishing up the hike I headed north to the Book Cliffs to revisit a few more rock art sites and find two new ones. I ended up finding the two new panels that I had not been able to find before, plus I found a third site that I just happened to stumble upon.

This little guy welcomes you into the canyon.

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Waving Hello by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I’m posting this photo because if you look very closely you can see a faint shield-like figure that appears to have legs. This is the second shield figure like that that I have found in the Book Cliffs, and they are very similar.

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Horned Shield with Legs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A busy panel high up on the canyon wall.

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Westwater High Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Handprints…most likely Ute or Paiute.

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Ute Hands by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A large horseback rider painted in a yellow pigment. Plenty of other figures and handprints painted here, too.

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The Yellow Rider by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This shield figure sure looks like a baseball to me!

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The Baseball by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Ute or Paiute petroglyphs carved over Barrier Canyon Style pictographs.

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Ute Over BCS by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A full view of the Barrier Canyon Style panel.

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Westwater BCS by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Three fading shields painted in a large alcove.

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Fading Shields Alcove by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

…and here we have the third shield-like figure like this that I have found in the Book Cliffs. This one is the best preserved, too. This is actually the pictograph I stumbled on accidentally while I was searching for another panel. A great accidental find!

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Horned Shield II by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I had searched for these pictographs previously without any luck, so it was great to actually find them this time. I have read that this scene may depict a birth.

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Book Cliffs Birth Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at part of the above panel.

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On the Inside by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before heading home I had to stop at the broken Robidoux Panel again.

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Broken by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The last new panel I found on this trip…I can’t believe I missed this one before!

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Three Canyons Petroglyphs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> McDonald Creek & the Book Cliffs Rock Art Trip Report


2 Comments

  1. Harvey Halpern January 17, 2013 4:27 pm  Reply

    Wow, you’ve got some great rock art photographs. Do I have it right that you’ve viewed all of this on dayhikes??? Amazing. I tend to get to far more remote spots but we have a similar eye. you might enjoy my photographs at harveyhalpern.com

    Keep up the great work!

    • Randy Langstraat January 17, 2013 5:04 pm  Reply

      Pretty much all of this was on dayhikes. I finally started backpacking last year so that I can visit some more remote sites that are beyond a dayhike, but I’m only gone on three backpacking trips so far. Looking forwards to a few more this year.

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