Diane’s Birthday Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, October 20-21, 2018
Since it was Diane’s birthday on Saturday and she wanted to spend the weekend in Nine Mile Canyon, that’s what we did! It actually worked out great since neither of us had been there yet this year and I like to try to get there at least once each year. We left home early on Saturday morning, stopped at the gas station in Wellington and then headed right into the canyon to see what we could find. There was nothing in particular that I was looking for on this trip, so we just drove slowly through the canyon and kept an eye out to see what we could find. It’s really amazing that no matter how many times I have driven through this canyon we were still able to find quite a few new petroglyphs and pictographs, and even a couple ruins. We spent all day in the canyon and then returned to Wellington where we took a little break from camping and spent the night in a hotel. Then on Sunday morning we were back in the canyon for a few more hours before heading back home. It was a great time! Here are plenty of photos from the weekend.
Welcome to the Nine Mile Canyon Backcountry Byway!
The Turtle Panel
This was an interesting panel with a sheep that has an elongated body that looks like a serpent. Very unusual!
The corner of a very large petroglyph panel.
A nice crescent-shaped sheep.
Sheep and The Coyote
Diane spotted this panel as we drove by and it’s actually one I’ve been looking for.
This was a very nice panel located high on a cliff that we had never noticed before. We did try to climb up to it and got on the ledge to the left of it, but there was no good view from there and no way for us to get in front of it.
A line of little backpackers.
We noticed a lot of small overhangs in the canyon with white pictographs painted underneath. This was one of the better ones.
Stick ‘Em Up! This was another large petroglyph we found this weekend. This figure was around three feet tall.
I have no idea what’s going on here? It looks like chicks in a circle? What do you think?
This was another large panel that I’ve been looking for that we spotted on this trip.
A closer look at the hunter and the net.
These petroglyphs were covered by a blue-colored lichen.
Shortly before sunset on Saturday I revisited a few of my favorite petroglyph panels.
This is definitely one of my favorites in the canyon.
Evolution of Sheep
Sheepwalking in the Evening
The Road To Nine Mile Canyon
The Santa Claus Panel
This vertical panel features a sheep with a spiral tail.
A few petroglyphs located in a corner.
Spiral & Lines
From the very end of the public road Diane spotted this distant panel on private land. This is a heavily cropped photo taken from the fence.
The Family Panel
Alien Rider Panel
Corner Grid Panel
The last new petroglyph panel we spotted on Sunday before leaving the canyon and heading back home. It had a been a great weekend and we found a lot of new rock art!
I have wanted to see rock art along that way. Thank you for showing us some of what
you saw. Very interesting and different style. I don’t think I have personally seen any
As always- fine photography and writing. Nine Mile has been on our list for a while. I’m wondering about camping out that way- is there any dispersed camping on BLM land that is not overly far off the main road?
Most of the road within the canyon travels through private property, but there are a few places where it crosses through BLM land. If you have a map that shows the land status, you might be able to find a place to camp in or near the canyon.
A bit of research shows that in the canyon- the road does cross a few small pockets of public land that may be hard to define, but this- http://9mcc.org/about/ indicates that there is no primitive camping allowed in the canyon, and that there is a commercial site at Nine Mile Ranch. We tend to avoid campgrounds such as this, especially with “generator hours” listed of 7am to 11 pm. However- the BLM’s Nine Mile webpage makes no mention of a ban on camping. It appears that one could primitive camp off of the first stretch of road out of Wellington, where it is surrounded by BLM land, or maybe along one of the side roads that leave the main road once in the canyon.
Camping is indeed not allowed in Nine Mile Canyon proper, though since the BLM revamped their website a couple of years ago there is very little or no useful information there at all. Here’s a snapshot of their website from 2015 that mentions the camping restrictions: https://web.archive.org/web/20150424004025/http://www.blm.gov:80/ut/st/en/fo/price/recreation/9mile/9mile_col3.html
However, the area you suggest (near Soldier Creek outside of Wellington) is wide open for camping. You may also be able to find camp spots in side canyons from Nine Mile (there is one just up Dry Canyon past the cattle guard (at https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=39.78016,-110.16944&z=20&b=sat). I have also seen camp trailers at Brundage Cove (https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=39.76249,-110.5251&z=18&b=sat), though camping there is likely illegal, but I doubt the BLM enforces it there.