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Grand Staircase – Escalante Ruins & Rock Art

Saturday & Sunday, July 16-17, 2011

This past weekend Amanda and I headed down to the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument to visit some ruins and rock art that I have wanted to get to for a while. The weather was pretty nice all weekend, in the upper 80′s during the hottest part of the day, and there were enough clouds in the sky to block the sunlight occasionally to help keep things feeling a little cooler.

Our first stop was at the Hundred Handprints panel near the Escalante River. Unlike the last cave I visited that claimed to have 100 handprints, this one delivered!

Hundred Handprints by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

An interesting petroglyph panel overlooking the Escalante River.

Hunter Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at the previous panel.

Escalante Hunter by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A severely damaged petroglyph site.

Confluence Site by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Closer look at the damage.

Escalante Vandalism by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A lone sheep that luckily was not damaged.

Confluence Sheep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Our next stop was visiting a few small alcoves that contained a whole bunch of small pictographs known as the Weavers Caves because of the many needle-like paintings found within.

Very fine and detailed pictographs unlike anything I have seen in the area before.

Weavers Designs 1 by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Weavers Designs 2 by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

One of the few figures that wasn’t abstract. It kind of looks like it may have been a bighorn sheep, though some people believe it may be a curly-tailed dog similar to the ones found in Barrier Canyon Style pictographs.

Weavers Sheep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The only anthropomorphic-like figure I found in the Weavers Caves.

Faint Creature by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Needle-like paintings.

Needles by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

If you look closely, there is a small sun-like painting in the panel.

Tiny Sun by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

On our way back from the Weavers Caves, Amanda spotted this arrowhead on the ground…I had walked right over it!

Amanda’s Find by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This panel was high on my list to find this weekend and it did not disappoint!

Circle of Life by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A flute player next to the ‘Circle of Life’

Flute Player by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Soon we headed up onto the Kaiparowits Plateau (Fiftymile Mountain, Smokey Mountain) to visit a few ruins and find a campsite for the night.

We found these pictographs along the way.

Alvey Pictographs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A very cool arch and ruin that I have wanted to visit for quite a while. A very cool site, but I think the morning would be a better time for photos this time of the year…

Collet Top Granary Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here’s another small but interesting ruin we visited. This one was very cool because the floor between the top and bottom granaries was still completely intact.

Double Decker Granary by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A small hidden granary we stopped by on our way back down towards Escalante on Sunday.

Hidden Granary by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After topping off the fuel tank in Escalante we planned on driving to Boulder via the Hells Backbone Road.

Hells Backbone by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Great views over Box Death Hollow from up at Hells Backbone.

Box Death Hollow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I guess I should have checked the road conditions…shortly after crossing Hells Backbone we found out the road was closed. Oops. Instead of heading back to Escalante we took the Posey Lake Road to Highway 24 in Bicknell before heading home.

Road Closed by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Grand Staircase – Escalante Ruins & Rock Art Photo Gallery


    J.P. OLIVIER November 16, 2011

    I’m French and I plan to visit (a small part) of your country and especially Coloradoand Utah.
    Would you plesa be kind enough to give me the best way to go to Collet Top granary arch and aslo its GPS position.

    Thank’s in advance.
    Jean Pierre OLIVIER

  2. Paul Johnson
    Paul Johnson November 25, 2013

    Incredible images Randy. The Collet Top Granary Arch
    is superlative; I can only imagine the portrayal in
    morning light (do you have it?). It is clear that you
    are willing to do the hard work of researching these sites
    and then ground-truthing them for photography. Very well done, thanks
    for sharing this.

    Paul Johnson

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat November 26, 2013

      Unfortunately, I have not made it back to the Collet Top Granary Arch yet.

  3. Roz tuttle
    Roz tuttle March 24, 2015

    Awesome! roz

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