San Rafael Swell Rock Art X
Black Friday & Saturday, November 23-24, 2012
After spending most of Thanksgiving Day at home it was time to get back out exploring again. Normally I take at least a few trips throughout the year to the San Rafael Swell, but I guess I was too preoccupied with the Paria Plateau this year since I still hadn’t made it out there. I decided it was time to at least make one trip out to the Swell this year, so that’s where I headed. I left well before sunrise on on Black Friday and was still surprised to see so many cars park at the mall that early as I drove out of town. I still can’t imagine getting up that early to try and get a deal among a large crowd of people, I’d rather spend my morning catching a sunrise in the desert. I spent the daylight hours of Friday and Saturday exploring, hiking and photographing rock art sites. I revisited a few sites and searched for some new ones. I spent the night at a hotel in Green River so I didn’t have to drive all the way back home on Friday night. Though many of the sites I visited were in the San Rafael Swell, I also made a side trip or two into the Book Cliffs and other areas outside the Swell. Here’s a few photos from my two days of exploring…
One of the new sites I visited this trip was the petroglyph panel near Mussentuchit Flats. When I first arrived, most of the panel was in direct sunlight, except for this narrow section, which happened to be one of the more interesting parts. As soon as the sunlight struck this section, it was almost impossible to see these figures.
The fading Butch ‘Casady’ inscription under a shallow overhang.
Cracked mud in the early morning light.
I’ve searched for this Barrier Canyon Style figure before without success, so I was happy to come across it this time.
Faded red pictographs and handprints.
Faded petroglyphs and red pictographs.
A nice Barrier Canyon Style pictograph panel that I missed on a previous visit. Glad I was able to find it this time.
Pictographs above water, an uncommon sight.
A beautiful Fremont panel in the warm afternoon light.
When I saw the moon rising above this sandstone cliff containing a few petroglyphs, I had to position myself so I could get a photo of them together.
The last time I visited this intricate Barrier Canyon Style pictograph panel, it was partially in the shade. I was happy to revisit it again close to sunset this time.
A closer look…
The ‘Family Panel’
I call this on the Feet Panel, for obvious reasons 😉
Late afternoon light really makes the sandstone glow.
As the settng sun was catching the top parts of these cliffs, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the reflection in the small pool in this salty wash.
There’s just something about warm light on sandstone that makes me happy. Look closely and you might be able to spot some petroglyphs, too.
Great clouds and colors in the sky just after the sunset on Friday evening.
Reflection in the Price River below.
A small petroglyph panel in the Book Cliffs.
I almost missed these pictographs high above the area I was searching.
The petroglyphs along the bottom of this boulder are eroding away.
Some interesting inscriptions I came across.
A few small pictographs in a large alcove.
This pictograph sure does look like a dragon to me.
A large petroglyph panel. There were plenty of other petroglyphs in this area, but unfortunately many of them were highly vandalized.
I spent way too much time looking for this panel when it should have been an easy one to find…
I’ve been looking for this pictograph panel for over a year and finally managed to find it this weekend. It took me three separate trips to find it, so I guess the third time’s the charm!
Here’s a very interesting petroglyph panel that’s unlike anything else I have come across in the area.
A closer look at part of the panel.
As I was hiking back to my Jeep on Saturday evening, I was treated one more time to warm sunlight on sandstone with the moon above. A great way to end the weekend!