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Exploring the Arches Backcountry

Moab Area Rock Art XIX | Sunday, January 15, 2012

On Sunday I drove back to Moab to meet up with Marty again to do a little more exploring. I didn’t have any plans for the day in mind when I left home, so I thought we could just figure things out as we went. We ended up hiking an area within Arches National Park that I had not visited before. It was a nice area with some great views along the way. We even managed to come across a new petroglyph panel as we explored the area.

As I was driving to Moab, I saw there was probably going to be a nice sunrise. I quickly looked for an interesting setting to take a photo from, but came up with nothing. So I found a dirt road, pulled off the highway, and put my Jeep in the foreground. I think it turned out pretty good.

Jeep Sunrise by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As I drove along the icy Colorado River I came across this awesome scene and had to pull over for another photo.

Icy Reflection by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After meeting up with Marty and deciding to visit a new area inside Arches, we drove over to the Copper Ridge Jeep Trail to start our hike. We had hoped to drive closer to the park on this road, but were stopped by this sign. We would be hiking a few extra miles.

End of the Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I parked my Jeep and we started hiking along the closed road.

Parked by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Along the way we wandered off the old road so that we could visit a nice overlook of this side canyon of Courthouse Wash. After viewing it from above I really want to get back and explore down in the canyon sometime.

Canyon View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After a few more miles of hiking we started following a sandy wash that turned into a small canyon. Within that canyon we managed to find this outstanding petroglyph panel. We had both heard there might be a petroglyph panel located in this area somewhere, but we had no clue where. We were lucky to stumble upon it!

Circles & Sheep Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There are a lot of sheep carved here.

Lots of Sheep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A few of the figures appear the have long necks. They remind me of the Long-Necked Sheep petroglyphs found in Nine Mile Canyon.

Long Necks by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Marty took this photo of me as I took a photo of the petroglyphs.

Circles, Sheep & Me by Marty, on Flickr

We thoroughly searched the area in case there was more rock art, but we found nothing else.

Sandstone Hiking by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Marty on the lookout for rock art.

Looking by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Great scenery all around.

Exploring by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We ended up looping back around and joining up with the old road that we had started on again. In the distance, above the La Sal Mountains, was an unusual Lenticular Cloud for much of the afternoon.

Lenticular Cloud by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When we reached the Jeeps again we called it a day and I grabbed a bite to eat in town. After dinner I hurried over to Rabbit Valley in Colorado to see if I could catch a nice sunset near the Castle Rocks. I managed to get there a little early, so I drove to an overlook of Ruby Canyon and the Colorado River just across from Knowles Canyon.

Colorado River View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Unfortunately, an awesome sunset never materialized, so I took a few photos in the twilight of my Jeep as I drove back to the interstate.

Lights by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After the Sunset by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Exploring the Arches Backcountry Photo Gallery

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