A couple of weekends ago after a long week at work, I wasn’t feeling up to any serious outdoor adventure, but I did want to get away from home and into the middle of nowhere to disconnect for a while. My plan was to drive the loop from Bruin Point, down Dry Canyon, and back up Cottonwood Canyon. I thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in on Saturday morning, however, and ended up with too little time for the full loop. My time was also cut short because I spent too much time driving slowly and checking out Whitmore canyon, despite having thoroughly explored it several years ago. The climb up Water Canyon to Bruin Point was easy and scenic. I put the Jeep in 4-low not because I need the traction, but to make the steep climb a little easier on the engine and transmission.
There was a lot more snow than I was expecting during the descent from Bruin Point into Dry Canyon. The dirt road was wet but not slick and made for easy driving despite the muddy conditions. Once I hit the bottom of Dry Canyon there was a little bit of water flowing in from side canyons, but the bottom of the main canyon was dry. I needed 4WD to get past one rocky section where the road followed the creek bed for a few hundred feet. I don’t remember that stretch from over a decade ago when I drove a full-sized truck through the canyon.
I saw my first rock art in the canyon at the confluence with Stone Cabin Draw, where there was also an old cowboy camp. Farther down Dry Canyon I stopped to look at the Alcove where I spotted what appeared to be a small white pictograph that I hadn’t noticed on an earlier trip. Near another alcove down the canyon were some white pictographs, and the main human figure in the panel had an unusual yellow outline and outstretched arms and hands. DStretch really brings out the yellow outline.
Continuing down Dry Canyon I saw several bighorn sheep that were surprisingly calm. While I watched and photographed them, they just stared back and didn’t get spooked. Next I encountered a large and very nice petroglyph panel right next to the road. I’d seen it in 2007 but had forgotten it was there. I drove past the Mummy and entered Nine Mile Canyon, and from there I just bee-lined toward home. It had been a simple and easy trip without much hiking, but it was a nice departure from the concrete canyons where I’d spent the previous week.
Photo Gallery: Bruin Point to Dry Canyon