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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo Gallery: Argyle Canyon