Paradox Valley Petroglyphs

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Wall of the Ancients
Wall of the Ancients overlooking Paradox Valley.

On Saturday morning Diane and I left home early to drive to Paradox Valley in search of some new rock art. Early on during our drive through Unaweep Canyon before the sun came up we saw quite a few large elk crossing the road and had to slow down to avoid hitting any. One almost ran right into the side of my Jeep as we were stopping to let a group cross the road, but luckily she stopped and turned at the last second. It was a pretty close call!

We stopped above this bend in the Dolores River for a photo shortly after sunrise.

Dolores River Bend

Always a pleasant drive along the Unaweep – Tabeguache Scenic Byway.

Unaweep - Tabeguache Scenic Byway

I have known about the presence of interesting petroglyphs within Paradox Valley for a while but had no idea on where they were located. After some recent research I believed that I had figured out the general area to search, so we headed to that area and just hiked around to see what we could find. Apparently my research led us to the right place since we found quite a few petroglyphs around. I’m sure we missed some, so a future trip back will probably be in order.

Off the main highway in Paradox Valley with the La Sal Mountains in the distance.

Paradox Valley

Following a two-track road to the edge of the valley.

Two-Track

The first rock art we would find on our first short hike.

Elk Shelter

A sandal print next to a metate groove.

Sandal Print

Large and deep tracks carved into the side of a boulder.

Big Tracks

These look like they could be handprint petroglyphs?

Print Petroglyphs

This guy has really big feet and hands compared to the rest of his body.

Big Feet & Hands

A couple very interesting figures.

Mushroomhead

More big feet on this large and fascinating petroglyph panel.

Big Feet

Big hands, too!

Big Hands

This guy appears to be holding some kind of bag.

The Bag Carrier

We ended up climbing to the top of the ridge above the valley.

View from the Top

A beautiful area to explore.

Little Red Rocks

Sandstone Exploring

We found these two small petroglyphs on the back of a large tower.

Tower Petroglyphs

View from behind the tower.

Behind the Tower

Climbing up a boulder-strewn wash to reach another sandstone tower.

Boulder-Strewn Wash

We found another large panel of hard-to-see petroglyphs on the backside of this second tower.

Tower of the Ancients

Cracked

Very interesting petroglyphs here, but hard to see…

Hard to See

We followed the road along the Dolores River out of Paradox Valley and stopped to see the small reconstructed section of the Hanging Flume on our way back home. It was a good day!

Restored Hanging Flume

>> Paradox Valley Petroglyphs Photo Gallery


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