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Three Fingers to Temple Wash

San Rafael Swell Rock Art III
Saturday, June 18, 2011

This Saturday I was going to meet my friend Philippe from France at Goblin Valley in the evening. That gave me all day to do some exploring on my own along the San Rafael Reef. I started out driving south from I-70 along the Reef to Three Fingers Canyon. I hadn’t been there in a year or two and I wanted to get some better photos of the petroglyphs.

On my way to Three Fingers Canyon I drove south along the Reef. There were some early morning clouds in the sky that spotlighted the reef in this photo.

Light on the Reef by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

View up the mouth of Three Fingers Canyon.

Three Fingers Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking up at the main panel of petroglyphs in Three Fingers Canyon.

Three Fingers Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Another panel of petroglyphs found nearby.

Vertical Circles by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here’s a few more petroglyphs, but what I like most about this photo is how the sandstone kind of resembles the shape of a wave.

Wave of Petroglyphs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The anthropomorphic petroglyph here has the remnants of some paint.

Painted Petroglyph by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After spending some time exploring the petroglyphs in Three Fingers Canyon, I continued driving south along the Reef so that I could revisit the Ochre Alcove again. It is one of my favorite Barrier Canyon Style pictograph panels.

An overview of the main panel of pictographs in the Ochre Alcove.

Transformation Scene by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closeup of two interesting figures.

Painted Twins by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Three of the larger anthropomorphs. Two of them have lines of dots rising above.

Dreams by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closeup of the largest anthropomorph and the horned snake.

Horned Serpent by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here’s a very small anthropomorph that I missed on my first visit here; it’s very small and very detailed.

Very Small by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Once I was finished examining this panel closely I continued hiking up the canyon in search of two other rock art sites that are supposed to be in the area, but I came up empty handed on those. So when I got back to the Jeep I set out in search of another panel in North Temple Wash, which I did manage to find!

The new panel I found which is very faded.

North Temple Wash Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at the pictographs.

North Temple Anthropomorph by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I stopped by this old car near Temple Mountain.

Old Car Under Temple Mountain by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After looping around Temple Mountain, I returned to the Reef and stopped by the Temple Wash Panel for some new photos.

Temple Wash Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Good Dog by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Shot Up by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Next, I drove over to Hanksville for some dinner and to top off the gas tank in my Jeep. By the time I arrived back in the Temple Mountain area I met up with Philippe. We headed into Goblin Valley in hope of a nice sunset, but that never happened. We did have a nice time exploring the further reaches of the park. Here’s one of the few photos I did take in Goblin Valley.

Goblins by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Once the sun was down, we left the park and found a campsite so we could rest up for our hike on Sunday.

>> San Rafael Swell Rock Art III Photo Gallery

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