Argyle Canyon

I tagged along with Alan on Saturday to the Nine Mile Canyon area to hike to several rock art sites that he’d spotted high above the road. Our first destination, however, was a petroglyph panel he’d heard about in a tributary to Nine Mile called Argyle Canyon. We saw some petroglyphs from the road that could have been the ones described to him, but we weren’t certain so we pressed on in our search. Along the way we saw a lot of rock art and historic inscriptions that alone would have made the trip worthwhile.

Low clouds in Argyle Canyon
Low clouds in Argyle Canyon

Very faded pictographs
Very faded pictographs

Faded pictographs enhanced with DStretch
Faded pictographs enhanced with DStretch

Large petroglyph panel re-covered in patina
Large petroglyph panel re-covered in patina

Large panel detail
Large panel detail

Large panel detail
Large panel detail

Broken guy with grabby hands
Broken guy with grabby hands

Argyle Canyon
Argyle Canyon

Left side of the crack
Left side of the crack

Right side of the crack
Right side of the crack

Sheep with a very long tail
Sheep with a very long tail

Elmer Addley, March 18, 1915
Elmer Addley, March 18, 1915

After going far enough up the canyon that we were pretty sure we’d already passed up the petroglyphs we were searching for, we turned around and actually climbed up to them. There were some large and unusual four-horned bighorn sheep petroglyphs, a few canine figures, and several typical sheep and hunters with bows and arrows.

Large dog
Large dog

Four-horned sheep
Four-horned sheep

Hunter and sheep
Hunter and sheep

Many interesting figures
Many interesting figures

On our trip farther down the canyon we stopped at several sites that we’d passed on our way up. Some were close to the road and others we had to scramble up to.

A Fremont favorite: dots and lines
A Fremont favorite: dots and lines

Alan photographing some very faint, large deer petroglyphs
Alan photographing some very faint, large deer petroglyphs

Faint deer petroglyphs
Faint deer petroglyphs

Lichen
Lichen

Dots and jazz hands
Dots and jazz hands

More jazz hands
More jazz hands

Lines, dots, and hands
Lines, dots, and hands

Searching for yet more rock art
Searching for yet more rock art

Lower in Argyle Canyon there were a lot of inscriptions in axle grease and a few that were carved. One of the most interesting was an 1876 inscription by S.H. Gilson which is one of the oldest we’d seen.

Joseph Strong over a pictograph
Joseph Strong over a pictograph

One perfect stick figure and one with horns
One perfect stick figure and one with horns

1898 cowboy glyphs
1898 cowboy glyphs

S.H. Gilson, Nov. 6, 1876
S.H. Gilson, Nov. 6, 1876

Alan spotted one last petroglyph panel high above the bottom of the canyon. We had to zig-zag around a couple of cliff bands and scramble/climb the highest we’d been above the canyon floor that day in order to reach the petroglyphs. By the time we were done photographing them the sun had disappeared behind the canyon walls and it was time to head home. We never even made it to the sites in Nine Mile Canyon proper. Argyle Canyon held much more interesting things than we were expecting, and it’s probably worth of much more exploration.

Climbing up to get a closer look at some petroglyphs
Climbing up to get a closer look at some petroglyphs

Human figure with halo
Human figure with halo

Sheep with tines
Sheep with tines

Anthropomorph
Anthropomorph

Hunter, sheep, and three bears(?)
Hunter, sheep, and three bears(?)

Sunset light high on the cliffs
Sunset light high on the cliffs

Illuminated clouds after the sun dipped below the mountains
Illuminated clouds after the sun dipped below the mountains


Photo Gallery: Argyle Canyon