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Return to Range Creek Canyon

Friday – Sunday, November 15-17, 2019

I’ve wanted to return to Range Creek ever since my first visit at the end of the season in 2013, and since Diane had never been there before we decided that it was finally time to head back this year. So back in August I secured a pair of permits for this Saturday and hoped that the weather would cooperate and not close the road into the canyon before our visit. We left after work on Friday and drove to the north entrance gate of the property in Range Creek Canyon where we set up camp so we would be able to get started hiking early in the morning. After a good night of sleep we woke up on Saturday morning to a brisk 29 degree temperature and clear blue sky above. Although it was a bit cold in the morning the temperature would warm up nicely during the day and it was very pleasant hiking weather. We spent the day revisiting sites I had been to previously and finding a few new ones along the way. I had hoped to climb up to some rock art panels for better photos on this trip, but the light just didn’t cooperate with me this time. I’ll have to try to time those better in the future. Enjoy a few photos from our weekend!

Our campsite on Saturday morning just after sunrise as we started our hike down the canyon.

Range Creek Camp

Fat Man Petroglyph

Fat Man Petroglyph

Sheep Petroglyphs

Sheep Petroglyphs

The remains of a granary and a lone petroglyph above the Fat Man Panel.

Granary Remains

Spirals & Shadows

Spirals & Shadows

The Upsidedown Man pictograph was larger than I was expecting it to be.

Upsidedown Man

Fremont Figurine

Fremont Figurine

Budges Arch looks pretty fragile on top of the high ridge above us.

Budges Arch

An old ore car we passed along the road.

Ore Car

It’s hard to see, but there is a granary in that alcove to the left of the large black stripe. Such an unusual place and from what I’ve heard it’s very inaccessible.

Black Stripe Granary

Walking back down the road to Barton Canyon.

Barton Canyon

Ladder Man Petroglyph

Ladder Man

A higher view of Range Creek as I climbed up Locomotive Rock.

Range Creek Canyon

Nice textures on the ceiling of a shallow alcove.

Locomotive Alcove Ceiling

When we hiked past this very cool petroglyph panel in the morning I thought it would be in the sunlight for most of the day, but it was already in the shade when I returned for a photo.

High Petroglyph Panel

This is the nicest ruin I have seen in Range Creek Canyon so far.

Range Creek Ruin

I like the multi-colored circle here.

Colorful Circle

Red & Yellow Pictographs

Range Creek Pictographs

An evening view of Locomotive Rock as we hiked back up the canyon.

Locomotive Rock

Erosion & Light

Erosion & Light

There were a few patches of fall colors hanging on in the canyon.

Range Creek Road

We returned to camp about a half hour before sunset and decided to drive up the road to the pass to eat dinner and watch the sunset. It was a great view and a nice way to end the day.

Castle Country Sunset

Evening At The Pass

Evening At The Pass

Our original plan was to pack up camp and then head over to the San Rafael Swell for the night, but after a long day of hiking almost 15 miles we didn’t feel like taking down the tent and then driving elsewhere to set it up, only to take it back down in the morning, so we decided to spend another night along Range Creek.

On Sunday morning it was 20 degrees out when when we woke up. We had a little breakfast and then took down camp before driving back out of the Book Cliffs. We wanted to get home early so we cut down our original plans in the Swell and only made one quick stop along Grassy Trail Creek near the Price River on our way back. I have planned to stop here a few times before during some of our drives home from Salt Lake City, but it had never worked out, so I was glad to finally make it here this time.

We made a brief stop at the Tripod Man before leaving the canyon.

Tripod Man

Morning light in Little Horse Canyon as we drove back up to the pass on our way home.

Little Horse Canyon

The hilltop ruin that we visited first along Grassy Trail Creek.

Hilltop Ruin

There were remains of a couple other ruins nearby, too.


Grassy Ruins

This was my favorite petroglyph in the area.

Large Boulder-Top Petroglyph



I liked how all three of these boulders each had a different style of an anthropomorphic figure on them.

Three Boulders

Designs on a small boulder.

Boulder Designs

Although I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted to in Range Creek this trip and the light wasn’t the best for me, we still had a nice time and I guess that just means we’ll have to return again in the future!

>> Range Creek Canyon Photo Gallery

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