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Nine Mile Canyon 2018

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!

Nine Mile Canyon Backcountry Byway

The Turtle Panel

Turtle Panel

This was an interesting panel with a sheep that has an elongated body that looks like a serpent. Very unusual!

Long Serpent-Sheep



Rainbow Sheep

Rainbow Sheep

The corner of a very large petroglyph panel.

Left Corner of the Big Panel

A nice crescent-shaped sheep.

Crescent Sheep

Sheep and The Coyote

Sheep and The Coyote

Diane spotted this panel as we drove by and it’s actually one I’ve been looking for.

Edge Panel

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.

High Ledge Panel

A line of little backpackers.

Little Backpackers

We noticed a lot of small overhangs in the canyon with white pictographs painted underneath. This was one of the better ones.

Outline Pictographs

Stick ‘Em Up! This was another large petroglyph we found this weekend. This figure was around three feet tall.

Stick 'Em Up

I have no idea what’s going on here? It looks like chicks in a circle? What do you think?

Chicks in a Circle?

This was another large panel that I’ve been looking for that we spotted on this trip.

Big Circle Panel

A closer look at the hunter and the net.

The Hunter and The Net

These petroglyphs were covered by a blue-colored lichen.

Lichen-Covered Petroglyphs

Shortly before sunset on Saturday I revisited a few of my favorite petroglyph panels.

The King

Three Petroglyphs

This is definitely one of my favorites in the canyon.

Magic Carpet Panel

Evolution of Sheep


Sheepwalking in the Evening

Sheepwalking in the Evening

The Road To Nine Mile Canyon

The Road To Nine Mile Canyon

The Santa Claus Panel

Santa Claus Panel

This vertical panel features a sheep with a spiral tail.

Vertical Panel

A few petroglyphs located in a corner.

Corner Petroglyphs

Spiral & Lines

Spiral & Lines

Triangle Men

Triangle Men

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.

Distant Private Panel

The Family Panel

Family Panel

Spiral Snake

Spiral Snake

Alien Rider Panel

Alien Rider Panel

Corner Grid Panel

Corner Grid Panel

Colorful Pictographs

Colorful Pictographs

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!

The Last Panel

>> Nine Mile Canyon 2018 Photo Gallery


  1. Dianne
    Dianne October 30, 2018

    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

  2. SteveR
    SteveR November 1, 2018

    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?

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat November 1, 2018

      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.

  3. Steve Riggs
    Steve Riggs November 2, 2018

    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- 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.

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