Nine Mile the Third

I had planned on camping at Cliff Dweller Flat and hiking Eardley Canyon this weekend, but a 30% chance of rain scared me off. The long section of slot canyon in Eardley is no place to be during a storm given its huge drainage area. Instead, I slept in late at home and on Saturday morning made up my mind to hit Nine Mile Canyon once again. There were several sites I wanted to visit: some I’d seen from a distance on my last trip, some I’d gleaned from the internet, and others I learned of from a friend. At the very first site I hiked up to I encountered a small rattlesnake–I heard it before I saw it. The dogs had run past it twice before I realized what the sound was because from a distance it sounded more like an insect. I took the dogs down to the Jeep then hiked alone back up the talus slope to check out the petroglyphs. Funny–the main figure at this panel was a large snake.

A small midget faded rattlesnake at the first rock art site I visited
A small midget faded rattlesnake at the first rock art site I visited

Snake and other petroglyphs
Snake and other petroglyphs

Tethered sheep petroglyph that seems to be a common theme in Nine Mile Canyon
Tethered sheep petroglyph that seems to be a common theme in Nine Mile Canyon

Big feet
Big feet

The next site was a very short distance down the road and there were quite a few good petroglyphs there. Many of them were obscured by mud or patina, though their original artistry was still evident.

Large, horned human figure
Large, horned human figure

Shield figure and sheep
Shield figure and sheep

Mud-covered petroglyph
Mud-covered petroglyph

Mud-covered petroglyph with life-sized hands
Mud-covered petroglyph with life-sized hands

High petroglyphs
High petroglyphs

Figures holding sticks and shields
Figures holding sticks and shields

Two shields
Two shields

Large, weathered petroglyph
Large, weathered petroglyph

I passed up on hiking to a few sites that I saw and just photographed them from the road on the way to my next destination. The next stop held a few pit houses and some great petroglyphs. My favorite was a large elk that had some lichen growing in its peck marks.

High, distant petroglyphs photographed from the road
High, distant petroglyphs photographed from the road

Petroglyphs on private property near Argyle Canyon
Petroglyphs on private property near Argyle Canyon

Pig Head Rock
Pig Head Rock

Semi-circular alcove with petroglyphs very high above the canyon floor
Semi-circular alcove with petroglyphs very high above the canyon floor

Pit house remnants
Pit house remnants

Side canyon
Side canyon

Abstract figure
Abstract figure

Two snakes
Two snakes

Snake and bison(?)
Snake and bison(?)

Sheep with pronounced hooves
Sheep with pronounced hooves

Fingers, toes, and fairy dust
Fingers, toes, and fairy dust

Large elk
Large elk

Lichen growing in the peck marks in the elk’s body
Lichen growing in the peck marks in the elk's body

Snake and canine(?)
Snake and canine(?)

Sheep with funky feet
Sheep with funky feet

Human figure behind a large stone slab
Human figure behind a large stone slab

Again, I stopped for some panels that I noticed from the road. I finally found the Santa and Reindeer Panel that was impossibly high on a cliff, though I think I figured out how to get up close to it–something for another trip! I also scrambled up to some granaries and wonderful white snake pictographs that I spotted during my last trip.

Lots of dots
Lots of dots

An interesting panel, but heavy winds and rain kept me from getting a closer look
An interesting panel, but heavy winds and rain kept me from getting a closer look

Santa and his reindeer
Santa and his reindeer

Dots and wavy line
Dots and wavy line

Pit house remains below some granaries
Pit house remains below some granaries

Remains of two granaries
Remains of two granaries

High granary
High granary

Pit house remains
Pit house remains

High alove with white snake pictographs
High alove with white snake pictographs

White snake pictographs
White snake pictographs

My last stop was at the Family Panel. I had been ridiculously close to it last time but didn’t spot it then. This time I had some info from a friend that helped me find it. The dogs were tired of being cooped up in the Jeep–luckily some clouds had moved in and made it possible for me to leave them there safely–and I drove home while consciously trying not to spot more rock art.

Horned spiral snake
Horned spiral snake

Figures near the spiral snake
Figures near the spiral snake

Family Panel
Family Panel

Pictograph near a Boulder
Pictograph near a Boulder


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5 thoughts on “Nine Mile the Third

  1. I continue to be amazed at your pics & you blogs . Love, love, the petroglyphs …thanks for sharing them!

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