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Secrets of Canyonlands

Friday – Sunday, March 22-24, 2019

This past week was an unusual one for me since I spent most of it in Rifle, Colorado attending a training class so I could get a Remote Pilot Certification (FAA Small UAS Rule, Part 107) for work. The funny thing is that I have never touched a drone in my life, and as of Friday morning I am now an FAA certified Drone Pilot! After taking the required test at the Grand Junction Airport on Friday morning and then having lunch with Diane afterwards, I drove into Utah through scattered storms to Moab before continuing on to The Needles for the second weekend in a row. On Sunday morning I was going to be meeting up with my friend Clyde so we could go on a hike together, but until then I was going to be spending Friday evening and all day Saturday revisiting a few rock art sites and searching for new ruins and rock art panels on my own. I would find a couple of secrets along the way…

When I arrived at camp on Friday evening the light on Harts Point was looking nice with the clearing clouds above, so I could tell that I was in store for a good sunset!

Cliffs & Clouds

The distant cliffs of Hatch Point lit up by the setting sun over the road near my campsite.

The Long Beautiful Road

Nice light on North Six-Shooter Peak.

North Six-Shooter Peak

I have plenty of photos of North Six-Shooter, so I made sure to get one of South Six-Shooter Peak this time around.

South Six-Shooter Peak

Shay Mountain was looking pretty nice in the distance.

Blue Mountains

It did turn out to be a pretty spectacular sunset!.

Campsite Sunset

One last photo of the amazing colors above North Six-Shooter Peak before I got into my sleeping bag for the night.

Big Sky

The Crack Granary

The Crack Granary

The Corner Panel

The Corner Panel

Ruin & Petroglyphs

Ruin & Petroglyphs

I found this lone handprint just before the early morning light was about to illuminate it for the day. It was perfect timing!

Hand In Light

I visited an old cowboy camp with a lot of historic relics scattered about, including this old empty box of M&O Cigars.

M&O Cigars

One of the more common containers found at the old camp were for coffee. I guess it was pretty important to the cowboys…

MJB Coffee

Part of an old Y.F. Peach box that looks like it was used for target practice.

Y.F. Peach

The best part of waking up…    (Did you sing it to yourself?)

The Best Part of Waking Up...

White Hands Alcove

White Hands Alcove

It took me a while to work up the courage to climb up a tricky slickrock ledge to reach these ruins located in three smaller alcoves since I was alone, but it turned out to be well worth it!

Triple Alcove Ruins

Skyline Ruin

Skyline Ruin

A closer look at the ruin found in the alcove on the right side.

Right Ruin

This large red pictograph is found between two of the alcoves.

Big Red Pictograph

Can you see the small arch?

Tiny Little Arch

Half-Door Granary

Half-Door Granary

A pretty nice Canyonlands view while exploring a few side canyons.

Side Canyon Exploring

Candy-Striped Pictographs

Candy-Striped Pictographs

Shield Man Petroglyph

Shield Man

Canyon Hoodoo

Canyon Hoodoo

The Shaman

The Shaman

Wandering on sandstone among plentiful potholes full of water.

Sandstone Wanderings

An interesting panel of petroglyphs.

Low Petroglyphs

A small but very nice little granary.

Little Granary

On Sunday morning I headed over to the Cave Spring Trail to catch the sunrise since I wasn’t meeting Clyde until a little later at the Visitor Center. It was a bit cloudy when I arrived, but the sun eventually made an appearance.

Cave Spring Trailhead

A little light overlooking lower Squaw Canyon.

Lower Squaw Canyon

Then the needles in the distance lit up.

Needles Sunrise

Junction Butte and the Island In The Sky to the north.

Island In The Sky

Morning light on Squaw Butte.

Squaw Butte

Golden Sandstone

Golden Sandstone

Light On The Needles

Light On The Needles

Sun rays on the horizon as I finished the loop hike and was on my way back to the trailhead.

Cairn & Rays

Layers in a shallow alcove.


A broken point I found while hiking with Clyde.

Broken Point

One last view from Sunday afternoon before hiking back to my Jeep and driving back home after another nice weekend in The Needles!

Exploring the Canyonlands

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