A couple of weeks after my first trip to the Gulch, I was exchanging e-mails with an acquaintance and when he found out I’d been there, he asked if I’d seen the other rock art panels near the one I’d visited. The other ones!? Dammit–I knew I wanted to go back now but I really didn’t want to repeat that long hike. Over the months I did some more research and came up with a shorter route starting in a different canyon, crossing a mesa, and dropping into the Gulch near the rock art. About 11 months after that first trip, Chris and I drove down and found a place to camp just off the Wolverine Loop Road, and Randy joined us later in the evening.
As soon as we were ready the next morning we took a short drive to where we planned to start the hike. The first part of the route followed an old livestock trail that gained 500′ of elevation onto the mesa. There really wasn’t much construction on the trail, but it was easy to follow and was cairned in a few spots. Near the top I found a tobacco can and a broken point.
For the next few miles we slogged across the sandy mesa which actually had a lot of ups and downs. In a couple of places on top I found some broken points and one nearly perfect arrowhead with only the very tip broken off. Oh, and an ever ubiquitous mylar balloon made an appearance!
On the other edge of the mesa we descended toward the Gulch, and in a very small side canyon we found one of the rock art panels I’d missed on my earlier trip. It consisted of pictographs similar to those in the Gulch proper, but it was a small panel consisting of only about 11 figures in red, white, and brown.
Next we finished the descent into the Gulch and went both up- and downstream. One direction took us toward the other “panels” that I missed before, but one turned out to be just a couple of mediocre petroglyphs and the other was merely a red pictograph smudge. In the other direction we revisited the wonderful and very large panel that we’d all seen before.
Satisfied now that we’d seen all the rock art in the vicinity, we climbed out of the canyon and crossed the mesa once again. As we progressed it grew colder and more overcast, and the wind picked up. We arrived back at our vehicles and my GPS had clocked in about 3.5 miles shorter than my previous trip down the Gulch, but factoring in the elevation differences and sandy slog across the mesa this route wasn’t necessarily any better. Before heading to camp we drove to check out a couple of cabins in the area. One was metal, and very similar to the one I’d seen in the Gulch the previous year, and the other was an old railroad boxcar.
That night we camped in the same spot, and turned in earlier than the previous night due to the cold breeze. Randy had plans for another hike in the morning and he left just before Chris and I got up on Sunday. We took our time packing up camp, then returned to the Burr Trail and did a short hike to a granary listed as a “cliff dwelling” on the USGS topo map.
We hadn’t made any further plans for the day so we stopped in Boulder and I researched something for us to do, eventually settling on some rock art along the Escalante River. We drove south and parked at the trailhead near the river, then hiked around for about half an hour, seeing a fair amount of rock art in a small area. The rest of the day was just the usual boring drive home–it’s always more dull on the the way back from a trip–although my Jeep turned over 150,000 miles somewhere between Torrey and Bicknell.
Photo Gallery: The Gulch Revisited