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Shavano Valley Rock Art Tour

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bear Dance Panel
The Ute Bear Panel in Shavano Valley.

After visiting the Shavano Valley Petroglyph Park near Montrose a few years ago I didn’t have any plans on returning. However, after Carol Patterson offered to guide me on a private tour of the park I couldn’t turn down the offer. Diane and Marty joined me on the tour this morning as we learned about these Ute petroglyphs from one of the leading experts in the field of rock art. Not only did we learn some interesting things about the Ute rock art in this location, Carol also showed us a few things I had missed on my previous visit.

Carol teaches us about the Bear Dance Panel, one of the most interesting petroglyph panels found in this area.

Carol Patterson Tour

A map representing the Uncompahgre Plateau.

Uncompahgre Plateau Map

Instructions on how to perform the Bear Dance written in stone.

The Rocks Begin to Speak

A representation of the five levels of the cosmos.

Levels of The Cosmos

A newer tree has been superimposed over older petroglyphs.

New Tree


These abstract petroglyphs have symmetry that is characteristic of the Ute.

Abstract Panel

This horse has a lot of legs!

Many Legs

The tree on the left is a ‘cosmic tree’ similar to the one found in the Bear Panel.

Cosmic Tree

A lone horse on a boulder.

Ute Horse

Carol points out some of the many different tracks pecked into Picture Rock. I had not seen this panel on my previous trip to the park.

Picture Rock Discussion

A closer look at Picture Rock.

Picture Rock

After the tour Diane and I drove up to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, had a little lunch, and then went snowshoeing on the Oak Flat Trail near the Visitor’s Center.

Snowshoeing the Oak Flat Loop along the rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Oak Flat Loop

There was plenty of snow up here and clear blue skies.

Oak Flat Trail

A view down into the Black Canyon with a glimpse of the Gunnison River.

Black Canyon View

Snowshoeing through the trees.

In the Trees

Black Canyon of the Gunnison Wilderness

Black Canyon Wilderness

Following a ledge in the snow back to the trailhead.

The Edge

>> Shavano Valley Rock Art Tour Photo Gallery

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