It had only been five days since I camped in this area last and I was back again, just me in my Jeep this time. I was still trying to camp at least once each month (not including in the trailer), and–spoiler alert–this would be my last time doing so for the year. Maybe all the RV camping burned me out, but I had no motivation to get out again for the rest of the year. I camped in the same spot as the previous weekend, and I brought a large battery pack and my Starlink dish so I could stare at a screen much of the night.
I woke up at 7:00 AM on Saturday and before 8:30 I’d driven to Devil’s Canyon and began hiking. First I checked out all the nearby cliffs with binoculars and managed to spot a bighorn sheep way off in the distance. He apparently saw me as well because he stood still and appeared to be looking in my direction for quite a while.
I revisited some Ute petroglyphs that I’d seen on a previous trip, then I hiked farther up the canyon and started climbing up a butte. Half of this butte is protected by tall cliffs, but the other side would be easily climbable except for some rock walls that block off access. A narrow chute with moqui steps leads up to several rock walls, one of which has a small opening one can crawl through to gain access to the top.
After I passed through the opening I circled around to the top of the butte and saw several rock shelters surrounding the cliffs. One very unusual feature near the top was a series of holes that appeared to be drilled into the sandstone. I’d read that this site was excavated in 1931 by the Claflin-Emerson Expedition, and many of the structures mentioned in the expedition’s notes weren’t apparent to me. The large structures were visible but I didn’t see any of the smaller ones.
I saw all there was to see and hiked back down to the Jeep. I had plans to hike some more in Devil’s Canyon but didn’t really feel like it now, so I headed up Nine Mile. I did stop to hike to a pit house that I’d only recently noticed in the satellite imagery. After driving farther up the canyon I stopped a few times whenever I saw some new rock art. One panel was close enough to hike up and get a closer look. Some others were too far away for good photos without taking a hike, but I marked waypoints in my GPS so I can return another day.
Photo Gallery: Devil’s Canyon