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San Rafael Swell Rock Art Trip Reports

Sauntering Around The Swell: The Northwest Side

Muddy Creek to the Little Wedge | San Rafael Swell Rock Art XVII
Friday – Sunday, April 21-23, 2023

As I was trying to figure out where I wanted to go this weekend, I realized that I had not been back to the San Rafael Swell since Diane and I did a little mountain biking on the Good Water Rim Trail over the Halloween weekend in 2021, and I thought that this would be a good time to finally get back out there to remedy that oversight. As usual, I left after work on Friday afternoon and headed west into ...

Sids Mountain

Friday – Sunday, March 23-25, 2018

This weekend I decided to take a break from exploring Canyonlands National Park and Bears Ears National Monument, so I headed over to the San Rafael Swell instead. This allowed me to avoid driving through the area surrounding Moab during the popular and very busy Easter Jeep Safari. I had decided earlier this year as I was making my plans for the spring that it was finally time to hike to the Kofford Cabin on Sids Mountain since it had been on my to-do list for a pretty long time. Originally, I was planning ...

The Edge of The Swell

Northern San Rafael Reef
Saturday, January 13, 2018

After having to cancel my hiking plans the previous weekend, Diane headed back with me this weekend to spend some time exploring a few canyons of the San Rafael Reef based out of Green River. We spent Saturday in the northern section of the San Rafael Reef and started the day by revisiting Cottonwood Wash.

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Windy Weekend in The Swell

Saturday & Sunday, April 29-30, 2017

After staying up late the last four nights in a row to attend concerts and then getting up for work early the following mornings, it was finally time for me to sleep in on Saturday! I woke up around 9:00am (I really cannot recall the last time I slept in that late), packed my camping gear into the Jeep and started driving west to the San Rafael Swell where I would spend the rest of the day hiking in canyons and searching for rock art. It was very windy out all day, which is ...

Little Grand Canyon

San Rafael River Gorge | Friday & Saturday, March 31 – April 1, 2017

Visiting the Little Grand Canyon in the heart of the northern San Rafael Swell has been something I have wanted to do for a long time. I’ve looked down into the gorge from the edge of The Wedge may times before and thought to myself that I needed to get down there. I had always dismissed going there on a day-hike because of it’s length and figured I would be able to catch the San Rafael River at the right time so I could take my ...

A Swell Birthday Weekend

Saturday & Sunday, February 11-12, 2017

Since Saturday was my birthday, we decided to spend the weekend in the San Rafael Swell based out of Green River to celebrate. We ended up visiting a bunch of rock art sites that I hadn’t been to in a while and that Diane had never been to (much like our day trip to Moab a few weeks ago), but we also found a couple of new sites. I had hoped to visit more new sites on this trip, but the roads in those areas were still pretty muddy, so we stuck to the ...

Return to the Unexpected

San Rafael Swell Rock Art XI | Saturday, February 7, 2015

Yes, I am aware that the title of this trip report doesn’t make much sense, but that’s OK since I liked the sound of it. Way back in June of 2011 I was hiking with my friend Philippe at the edge of the San Rafael Swell when we came across a Barrier Canyon Style pictograph panel that no one seemed to have seen before. When I wrote up the trip report for that day I decided to call it the Unexpected Panel since we were looking for something else ...

Rock Art Along the Reef

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A few years ago Marty and I had spent our New Year’s Eve along the San Rafael Reef in search of rock art. That day we found some new panels but were unable to find a few others. We decided to head back there today so we could try again. I met Marty in Green River at 7:00am this morning and we took off for a day of hiking and exploring along the San Rafael Reef.

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New Year's Eve Along the Reef

San Rafael Swell Rock Art IX
New Year’s Eve | Saturday, December 31, 2011

We finally made it…the last trip of the year 2011! On New Years Eve morning I met up with Marty in Green River so that we could head over to the San Rafael Reef and Desert to search for some new rock art sites.

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Northern San Rafael Swell Rock Art

San Rafael Swell Rock Art VIII
Saturday, November 26, 2011

After spending Black Friday in Nine Mile Canyon I spent Saturday searching for and visiting some new rock art sites in the San Rafael Swell. After a quick breakfast in Green River I made my way over to visit the Prickly Pear Flat pictograph panel.

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Ivie Creek and the Molen Seep

San Rafael Swell Rock Art VII
Sunday, October 30, 2011

After spending Saturday hiking to the Dragonfly Panel, I decided to head over to the San Rafael Swell to visit some new rock art sites. The first site I visited is actually just a little bit west of the Swell along Ivie Creek at the edge of the Wasatch Plateau. It was a little tricky finding the way up to this panel, but I did manage to make it up there.

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Rock Art Along the San Rafael Reef

San Rafael Swell Rock Art VI
Saturday, July 30, 2011

On Saturday I met up with my friend Kevin for the first time so that we could do a little hiking in the San Rafael Swell and hopefully find a few new rock art panels. Luckily, we did end up finding the panels we were looking for…so here’s a few photos from our day.

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A Hot Day in the Swell Searching for Rock Art

San Rafael Swell Rock Art V
Saturday, July 23, 2011

I spent Saturday in the San Rafael Swell visiting some new and old rock art sites. It was pretty hot out and the bugs were out in force during my first hike, but it was still a great day! I found many cool new panels while I was out exploring. I’ll let the photos do the talking…

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An Unexpected Surprise

San Rafael Swell Rock Art IV | The Unexpected Panel
Sunday, June 19, 2011

Originally this hiking trip in the San Rafael Swell was put together to so that I could meet up with my friend Philippe while he was out on a long trip to the Southwest, but it ended up being a very memorable and unique experience for me. I usually try to do a little research and planning when I am going to be exploring a new area, but other than knowing the general area we would be in, I left all the planning up to Philippe ...

Three Fingers to Temple Wash

San Rafael Swell Rock Art III
Saturday, June 18, 2011

This Saturday I was going to meet my friend Philippe from France at Goblin Valley in the evening. That gave me all day to do some exploring on my own along the San Rafael Reef. I started out driving south from I-70 along the Reef to Three Fingers Canyon. I hadn’t been there in a year or two and I wanted to get some better photos of the petroglyphs.

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Buckhorn Flat & Wash Rock Art

San Rafael Swell Rock Art II
Sunday, May 1, 2011

After spending a long weekend in Salt Lake City for Amanda’s birthday, we headed home through the San Rafael Swell so that I could stop at a few easily accessible rock art panels at the base of Cedar Mountain that I had not been to before. Here’s a few photos I took.

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The Ascending Sheep & Ferron Box

San Rafael Swell Rock Art I
Saturday, April 23, 2011

The weekend following my long week in The Maze and on Cedar Mesa I was ready to head back out and search for some rock art. This time Amanda and I headed back to the San Rafael Swell so that we could attempt to visit the Ascending Sheep Panel and the Ferron Box panels. Back in March Dave and I had attempted to get to the Ascending Sheep Panel, but the snow we got that day slowed us down and we ran out of time after spending most of the ...