My 40th Birthday Foray into Arizona and New Mexico
Monday, February 10, 2020
After spending a nice weekend exploring Petrified Forest National Park for the first time, it was time to move on to our next destination of the trip. Since I have wanted to visit the petroglyphs of the Rock Art Ranch in Chevelon Canyon for many years and we were already going to be nearby in Holbrook, I had called a few weeks prior to schedule a tour for Monday morning. While checking the weather forecast on Sunday evening it looked like there was a storm system moving through the area that could interrupt these plans. When we woke up on Monday morning it was already windy and cold out along with sleet, rain and snow falling. However, looking at the updated weather forecast it looked like we might luck out as the precipitation was supposed to stop before our tour at 10:00am. After breakfast and loading up our vehicle it was still raining out as we made our way over to the ranch, but thankfully it did stop during our drive out there, so the timing was perfect!
Welcome to the Rock Art Ranch
After arriving at the Rock Art Ranch we met up with Brantley Baird who has lived on the ranch since 1948 and discovered many of the sites himself. He started out by giving us a tour of the ranch and it’s history before we drove over to visit a ruin that was partially excavated on the property. Then we stopped at a Navajo hogan and sweat lodge before reaching the edge of Chevelon Canyon to visit the petroglyphs below. From here Brantley left us on our own and we were able to explore the canyon for as long as we wanted. All he asked is that we locked the gate behind us when we left and gave him a call to let him know we were out and OK. We spent a few hours searching for and photographing the petroglyphs in the canyon. While it was still cloudy out when we first arrived at the canyon, the sky started clearing out while we were there and we even had some sunlight come out. It was a great way to spend the afternoon and I’m glad the weather cooperated with us! I took quite a few photos of the many and unusual petroglyphs found here.
This was the furthest downstream we could go without getting wet in the swimming hole. In warmer weather it might be nice to explore further down the canyon, but it was definitely too cold for that today!
The following two photos are of the Birthing Panel.
They are hard to see in this photo, but there are a bunch of petroglyphs located high on the canyon wall.
Diane searching for petroglyphs along the creek.
I found a way to climb up onto a ledge for a closer look at some of the better petroglyphs in the canyon.
The Eagle Panel
This figure is known as Cinderella.
A wider look at the corner containing the Cinderella Panel.
Looking up at the Rock Art Ranch overlook of the canyon with the stairs you use to get down into the canyon.
While the bridge felt a little rickety, we crossed it a few times while we were in the canyon.
Before leaving the canyon Diane spotted this large boxy petroglyph hidden in a crack.
After leaving the Rock Art Ranch it was time to leave Holbrook and start heading further south. We spent the next couple of hours driving to Globe, Arizona where we had dinner and spent the night before our first overnight backpacking trip of the week. When we arrived in Globe it was raining pretty hard out and was supposed to continue through the night. I hoped the rain and cooler temperatures would not affect our plans for the following day….
During our drive to Globe we did get to see the Salt River Canyon from a couple different overlooks along the road shortly before sunset. There was lightning and thunder crashing around us as we stopped for these photos. I think we might have to return here in the future!