Nine Mile Canyon Tour

Saturday & Sunday, January 31 – February 1, 2015

After spending Friday in Salt Lake City so we could see Nothing More (one of our favorite bands) in concert, we spent the rest of the weekend in Price so we could visit plenty of rock art sites in Nine Mile Canyon. Diane had never been to Nine Mile Canyon before, so we spent a lot of time visiting many of the well-known locations that I have been to before, but we also visited a few new sites.

On our way from Wellington to Nine Mile Canyon.

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On Our Way by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Low clouds from the storm the previous day were clearing as we drove towards the Book Cliffs on Saturday afternoon.

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Book Cliffs Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Afternoon Drive by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Welcome to Nine Mile Canyon.

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Nine Mile Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Low clouds in Nine Mile Canyon.

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Low Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Our first stop of the day was actually at a very nice pictograph panel that I have known about for years, but never made it to before. These are some of the nicest pictographs I have seen in Nine Mile Canyon. With temperatures in the 50’s and melting snow, it was a pretty muddy hike to get to this one, but well worth it.

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Pictograph Alcove by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Pictograph Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We made a quick stop at the petroglyph panels near Pig Rock.

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Juggler Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I made sure that Diane was able to see the Great Hunt Panel in Cottonwood Canyon.

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Great Hunt by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Then we walked down and across the road to the Big Buffalo.

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Big Buffalo by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The Pregnant Buffalo.

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Pregnant Buffalo by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Vibrant pictographs.

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Yellow Man Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I love the sheep with the spiral tail in this one.

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Spiral Tail Sheep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As we were driving back from the Great Hunt Panel, I spotted these high up on the canyon wall. They were new to me.

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White Outlines by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A little further down the road Diane stopped me because she spotted these faint pictographs featuring a black rainbow.

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Black Rainbow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We hiked and visited the panels around Daddy Canyon.

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Mickey Mouse Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Big Sheep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before leaving Nine Mile Canyon for the day we stopped at the impressive Owl Panel.

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Owl Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Late afternoon light in the canyon on our drive back out.

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Evening Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The moon was rising above the Book Cliffs has we drove back to town for the evening.

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Moonrise by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

On Sunday morning we met up with Dennis at the gas station in Wellington and headed back into Nine Mile Canyon to visit more new sites. While I have known Dennis for years, this was actually the first time we would be doing any hiking together (not counting an unexpected meeting in Range Creek a while back).

We started the day by climbing up to this very interesting petroglyph that I have wanted to see for a while.

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Sheepwalking by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were plenty of other nice petroglyphs nearby, too.

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Small Couple by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Dry Canyon Petroglyphs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Two-Tone by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Later in the morning while driving down the road, Diane stopped me when she saw these Ute petroglyphs above. Neither Dennis or I had seen them before.

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Ute Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Long Headdress by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Diane was on a roll today because she spotted these next two nice petroglyph panels. Both new ones to Dennis and I.

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Big Guy by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This one was located very high up the cliff and we didn’t climb up to it, but I managed to get a decent shot with my long lens. Diane is looking forward to returning so we can climb up into this area and search for more.

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Very High Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We also stopped to see the Coyote Panel that some believe depicts a Hopi creation myth of Coyote in the act of placing the stars.

According to one Hopi creation myth, Old Spider Woman provides Coyote with with a sack filled with stars. After climbing to the top of a mountain he begins to distribute them neatly in the heavens, including creating the well-known constellations. Soon, he grows tired of this work and picks up the bag to throw its contents into the sky. This is the reason why many of the stars are not arranged in an orderly fashion.

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Coyote Placing the Stars by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Dennis showed us these four-horned sheep in Argyle Canyon…

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Four-Horned Sheep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

… and this slab with dots and lines.

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Dotted Slab by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Dennis had heard about a very large petroglyph panel with four foot tall sheep that we went searching for. It was a steep and loose climb to reach them, but we did manage to find this impressive panel. I know it’s hard to tell scale from the photo, but these are the largest petroglyphs of sheep I have ever seen!

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Big Big Sheep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The SWELL Jeep and Diane’s Ford Edge. We took Diane’s car this weekend since we didn’t need my Jeep for any place that we planned on going and it gets better fuel mileage, but we did get it pretty muddy inside and out.

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SWELL Jeep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finding the large bighorn sheep petroglyphs and climbing back down it was getting later in the afternoon and we still needed to drive home, so we parted ways with Dennis to leave for home. We had a nice weekend visiting some amazing rock art in Nine Mile Canyon and I want to thank Dennis for showing us around a little on Sunday.

>> Nine Mile Canyon Tour Photo Gallery


7 Comments

  1. Richard R. Barron February 3, 2015 11:55 am  Reply

    Wow. The first pictograph alcove shot (the one after the low clouds) looks like a symbolic representation of nuclear war and the demons it would unleash.

  2. Dennis February 3, 2015 4:30 pm  Reply

    Thanks again for the invite, Randy. I had a good time hiking with you and Diane, and the rock art that Diane spotted end up providing me with an entire day of hiking and discovering more rock art the following day.

    • Randy Langstraat February 3, 2015 4:47 pm  Reply

      Awesome, can’t wait to see your photos of what else you found. By the way, check out page 219 in The Split Sky by Tom McCourt for a photo of that Ute panel we visited on Sunday.

  3. Geckostone February 3, 2015 5:56 pm  Reply

    Thanks Randy, what a trip!!! I can’t wait to go there someday! Debbie Meekona

    • Randy Langstraat February 3, 2015 5:57 pm  Reply

      Thank you Debbie

  4. Alice February 4, 2015 6:47 am  Reply

    Beautiful rock art! Plenty impressive pictographs 🙂

  5. John Spurr February 10, 2015 7:34 pm  Reply

    Inspirational! Gotta go back to Nine Mile Canyon!

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