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Easter Weekend Ruins & Rock Art

Saturday & Sunday, April 7-8, 2012

I set out this weekend with one goal in mind- I was searching for a specific ruin known as the Painted Granary or Nestled Granary. I had done some research and thought I figured out which canyon it might be hidden in. The only way to know for sure was to get out there, hike around and search for it…so that’s what I did!

While trying to find a way into the canyon, I came across these ‘bird tracks’ in a very shallow alcove.

Bird Tracks by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Eventually I managed to find my way into the mouth of the canyon and started hiking upstream while searching the canyon walls for ruins. I hadn’t hiked very long when I spotted the ruin I was looking for…I was excited to find it and scrambled up the loose talus slope to reach it. There were a few other ruins below it that weren’t in as good of shape.

Ruins Below by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There was also one nice reverse handprint painted on the sandstone inside the large alcove. There were a couple other one’s that were pretty faint and hard to see, too.

Hand & Painted Granary by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here’s a closer look that the interesting paintings on this ruin that make it very unique.

Ruin Paintings by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I think this alcove contained the highest concentration of corncobs on the ground that I have ever come across in one place. This is just a photo of a few of them.

Corncobs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This is a very photogenic ruin and I had a lot of fun taking photos of it from different angles.

Painted Ruin by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I was very drawn to the curved lines in the sandstone just above the granary. This is probably my favorite photo of the ruin.

Painted Granary Ceiling by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Since I managed to find the ruin much quicker than I had anticipated, I needed to find something else to do for the rest of the day. I decided to head back to Cave 7 so that I could get a few better photos of the ruins in the area. I also wanted to explore some of the nearby canyons to see what else I could find.

On my way to Cave 7 I found another large alcove that had a few ruins and a little rock art. These red anthropomorphs were found in the back of the alcove.

Red Family by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Father & Son by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were also some more recent pictographs found here…most likely Ute. You can also see a few holes drilled in the back of the alcove that used to support wood beams for the structures that once stood here.

Black Buffalo by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A few interesting handprints that I almost missed before leaving.

Stripes & Circles by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here we have some older pictographs and petroglyphs, plus some newer pictographs that are probably Ute. There’s even a little graffiti…

Old & New by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I did finally make it to the Pastel Alcove Ruin found near Cave 7.

Pastel Alcove Ruin by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

One wall remains of a ruin that was built in Cave 7.

Cave 7 Wall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A view into Cave 7.

Cave 7 by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After leaving Cave 7 I bushwhacked my way into another small canyon nearby to see if I could find anything. I did manage to find a few very faded petroglyphs and a strange fence, but not much else. There’s a few more areas I want to explore around here one day, so I’ll have to return.

Before heading back to camp for the night, I stopped by Comb Ridge to catch the sunset. As the sun was getting closer to setting behind Cedar Mesa it appeared that there wasn’t going to be much of a sunset since the sun went behind some clouds. Right before I was ready to pack up and hike back to my Jeep the sun struck the very top of the ridge for a just about a minute.

End of the Comb & Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After a very cold night camping along Comb Wash, I packed up camp and and headed up onto Cedar Mesa. Today I was searching for some nice petroglyph panels, and I had a pretty good idea on where they were located. Once I found the hidden route down to reach them, I searched and searched but came up empty. After about two hours of searching I finally gave up and hiked back to my Jeep to leave. Before leaving I decided to walk the rim of the canyon and see if I could spot them from above. Less than five minutes later I had found them! I guess I should have done that first 😉 I had practically walked right next to them when I was searching below, but had still managed to miss them. I did not feel like climbing back down there, plus the lighting was bad, so I decided I would have to come back another day to visit them. I did take a few quick photos from above…

In the Shadows by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Anthropomorph & Tracks by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Duck on Head by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

To get back home I drove off of Cedar Mesa via the Moki Dugway and looped around through Bluff. As I passed through Bluff I stopped to visit another new petroglyph panel that includes a large ladder.

Bluff Ladder Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at some of the other interesting figures to the left of the ladder.

Circle with Tail by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This was another large Basketmaker panel that was located near the Ladder Panel, but was pretty difficult to see…let alone photograph.

Many Men Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

From Bluff the rest of the drive home was uneventful. As always, it was another great weekend on Cedar Mesa and along Comb Ridge (well, aside from the very cold night camping…but I survived), and it’s even better since I found the ruin I was really searching for this weekend!

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One Comment

  1. Fred
    Fred October 31, 2014

    Can you give me any help on general location of the Painted Granary? Thanks, Fred

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