Exploring Mill Creek Canyon

Moab Area Rock Art XIV
Saturday, December 3, 2011

After a great long Thanksgiving Weekend I headed back to Moab with my friend Jackson so that we could hike and search for some new rock art panels. I had high hopes of finding many new panels and was not disappointed!

Shortly after starting our hike we came across this excellent panel. There are a few very interesting figures found here.

6479442039_1402804d94_z.jpg
Mill Creek Man Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I really wonder what that seven-legged figure in the middle could possibly be?

6604455929_9611cf055b_z.jpg
Anthropomorphs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This anthropomorph has very large hands and an even larger headdress.

6479424799_af8770617b_z.jpg
Mill Creek Man by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finding that first panel, it was a while before we stumbled upon another. Jackson actually spotted this one first, located high above us on the canyon wall. I had to switch to my long lens to get this photo of it. This is another amazing panel and I have never seen anything like the bird-like creature in the lower left with the large wingspan before. I wish we could have got a closer look at it!

6450375945_a422f1f5c2_z.jpg
Out of Reach Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We did try to find a way up to the previous panel, but were unsuccessful. In our search for a route up we did find a few more petroglyphs, including these.

6604494075_4a55899719_z.jpg
Basketman by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This small panel was also found nearby with it’s perfectly executed spiral.

6604476453_d8714a06e3_z.jpg
Spiral Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This was the next area we found a bunch of petroglyphs as we continued hiking up the canyon. There are three panels of petroglyphs found around this slot in the canyon wall. Within the slot there were also a few more petroglyphs.

6610674895_ffc3e4bac9_z.jpg
Slot Panels by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This is the small panel found just to the left of the slot pictured above.

6604525547_81677910f5_z.jpg
Outside the Slot by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The next three photos are of the petroglyphs found to the right of the slot.

6604582829_59493950ff_z.jpg
Big Hands and Feet by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

6610646415_8e52b2543d_z.jpg
Disappearing by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

6610660751_aa7de6a055_z.jpg
Low Dots by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A few sheep we found as we continued searching.

6610686165_24d48b5ae4_z.jpg
Dancing Sheep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Even further up the canyon we found this large panel that was partially shaded by a tree.

6610697509_44af365350_z.jpg
In the Shadows by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Jackson taking a break from the search of the canyon walls as I continue up-canyon.

6620918563_9d8a99c581_z.jpg
Jackson Relaxing by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

While Jackson was resting, I found this nice petroglyph panel near a route that could take you up and out of the canyon. You can also see the large rock Jackson was resting on in this photo.

6475111777_b6c450facb_z.jpg
Exit Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finding the previous panel we decided to cross back to the other side of the canyon and see if there was anything there. It’s a good thing we did, because we ended up finding the largest concentration of petroglyphs that we would find all day, and maybe even all month! Unfortunately, when we found them we were already running short on time and daylight, so we had to quickly search and take photos. As we explored this side of the canyon we spotted some more petroglyphs back on the other side that we had not made it to…we will definitely have to return and finish searching since we didn’t have the time to visit those. The following ten photos were all taken from this awesome area.

6612692685_88bed1789f_z.jpg
Striped Sheep Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

6612807301_edd06173a9_z.jpg
Striped Sheep Panel Corner by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I’m not sure what the large figure in the middle of this spectacular panel is? My best guess would be a bear, but it’s not like any of the other bears I have found in the Moab area.

6518816123_e8e9b41fd7_z.jpg
Spiral Tail Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The spiral tail on that sheep is interesting.

6612739941_708f393e48_z.jpg
Spiral Tail Sheep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were many petroglyphs hidden behind a more ‘recent’ rockfall at the base of this cliff. These are a few of the more visible ones, but the petroglyphs extend further to the left behind the boulders.

6612760199_2937d7cb74_z.jpg
Behind the Rockfall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

6612782215_f234db02f4_z.jpg
Holding Hands by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

6450368491_ca514c6e1e_z.jpg
Ghost by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There are a lot of unusual sheep-like figures carved in this panel.

6613260077_a9a9d20200_z.jpg
Strange Sheep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

6613288547_3c9a926ccb_z.jpg
Shepherd by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

6613317467_6d48c5d1b6_z.jpg
Eagle Men by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before leaving Moab and driving home, I made one quick stop at the Golf Course Panel to catch the last sunlight of the day striking this panel before it dropped below the Moab Rim.

I wanted to get a nice photo of Santa’s Sleigh before Christmas.

6557587357_2fd7e45ba2_z.jpg
Santa’s Sleigh by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The Moab Man Panel glows orange in the low sunlight.

6613390383_e209d764d7_z.jpg
Moab Man Panel Sunset by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at the well-known Moab Man.

6613468839_8a5637d2eb_z.jpg
Moab Man Sunset by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I had no idea just how much rock art we were going to find when we started this hike, but it was an awesome experience. It’s high on my list to return to this site and keep searching because I’m sure there’s a lot more out there.

>> Moab Area Rock Art XIV Photo Gallery


2 Comments

  1. Paul Johnson November 23, 2013 4:21 pm  Reply

    I suspect the large figure in Spiral Tail Panel and Spiral Tail Sheep is
    a cougar.

    • Randy Langstraat November 25, 2013 9:33 pm  Reply

      Hmmm…I just assumed it was a bear…but I can see a cougar, too.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *