Category Archives: Nine Mile Canyon

Wedge Overlook to Nine Mile Canyon

My friend Chris broke his leg in July, and managed to crawl to his vehicle and drive, left-footed, out of the Uintas until he got cell service to call for help. As soon as he was off crutches more than two months later, he was itching to get out for a camping trip. We planned a trip that would take us to the Wedge Overlook, Nine Mile Canyon, the Sand Wash landing strip, and finally over Bruin Point and back to Price. Centering this trip around Nine Mile was a great choice because there’s a lot to see there very close to the road–perfect for a gimpy, outdoorsy guy. We met at my house and then took my Jeep south into the San Rafael Swell. There were still plenty of camp spots available at the Wedge Overlook so we chose the best one and settled in for a relaxing evening. This is one of my favorite places to watch the sunset, even though it wasn’t particularly spectacular this time. Still, I was thoroughly enjoying this, which was only my second time camping at the overlook.

Before sunset at the Wedge Overlook
Before sunset at the Wedge Overlook

Can you spot the pictographs?
Can you spot the pictographs?

La Sal Mountains 90 miles distant
La Sal Mountains 90 miles distant

After sunset at the Wedge Overlook
After sunset at the Wedge Overlook

Pink clouds to the west
Pink clouds to the west

We woke up in time to watch the sunrise, and then packed up camp and headed to Nine Mile Canyon, making a couple of stops near upper Buckhorn Wash and the old townsite of Victor. In Nine Mile Canyon, we stopped at several sites that Chris hadn’t been to, including First Site, Coyote Placing the Stars, the Owl Panel, the Family Panel, and Pregnant Buffalo. I was surprised at that last site that the vandalism that occurred in 2014 hadn’t been fixed, even though the family of the accused kid agreed to pay $1,500 to restore it. I wonder what the BLM did with that money?

Sunrise at the Wedge Overlook
Sunrise at the Wedge Overlook

Packing up our gear
Packing up our gear

Little Grand Canyon panorama
Little Grand Canyon panorama

The three peaks of No Man’s Mountain
The three peaks of No Man's Mountain

Hazy view down the Little Grand Canyon
Hazy view down the Little Grand Canyon

Abandoned school bus turned camper near Buckhorn Wash
Abandoned school bus turned camper near Buckhorn Wash

Old structure near Victor
Old structure near Victor

Yellow aspen trees at upper Soldier Creek
Yellow aspen trees at upper Soldier Creek

1886 inscription covered by brush
1886 inscription covered by brush

Sheep and rough human figure at First Site
Sheep and rough human figure at First Site

Ute petroglyphs
Ute petroglyphs

Fremont pictographs behind a huge slab of rock
Fremont pictographs behind a huge slab of rock

Strange bighorn sheep petroglyph and bullet holes
Strange bighorn sheep petroglyph and bullet holes

Very large horse petroglyph
Very large horse petroglyph

Coyote Placing the Stars
Coyote Placing the Stars

Owl Panel
Owl Panel

Landowner’s stupid (and untrue) signs trying to scare the public away from a public road
Landowner's stupid (and untrue) signs trying to scare the public away from a public road

Family Panel
Family Panel

Big bison petroglyph
Big bison petroglyph

Flying Spaghetti Monster
Flying Spaghetti Monster

Pregnant Buffalo petroglyph
Pregnant Buffalo petroglyph

Fremont pictographs
Fremont pictographs

J.M.N. 5/25/14 (wants his money back)
J.M.N. 5/25/14 (wants his money back)

Volunteers participating in an archaeological dig at Fremont Village
Volunteers participating in an archaeological dig at Fremont Village

After spending much of the day in Nine Mile Canyon, we drove toward the Sand Wash landing strip and camped at a spot overlooking Sand Wash. We enjoyed some beer and a so-so sunset. The next morning’s sunrise was amazing, and seemed to last a long time. After the show was over we packed up our gear. While doing so, a plane landed at the airstrip and dropped off a passenger who we talked to briefly. He was hiking down to Sand Wash to start a river trip through Desolation Canyon. Before we left, Chris and I hiked a short distance down the trail toward Sand Wash and Chris placed a geocache.

Bighorn Sheep in Nine Mile Canyon
Bighorn Sheep in Nine Mile Canyon

Badland Cliffs
Badland Cliffs

Uplift near the Sand Wash landing strip
Uplift near the Sand Wash landing strip

Sand Wash landing strip windsock
Sand Wash landing strip windsock

Uintah County Road 283C
Uintah County Road 283C

Sand Wash and the Green River
Sand Wash and the Green River

Sunset at Sand Wash
Sunset at Sand Wash

Surprisingly there was no firepit here, so we built one
Surprisingly there was no firepit here, so we built one

My Sunday morning wakeup view
My Sunday morning wakeup view

Sunrise panorama over the Green River
Sunrise panorama over the Green River

Colorful clouds to the west
Colorful clouds to the west

Chris standing in the 4G spot
Chris standing in the 4G spot

Plane that dropped off a passenger at the airstrip
Plane that dropped off a passenger at the airstrip

Trail leading to Sand Wash
Trail leading to Sand Wash

We passed back through Nine Mile Canyon, with a stop at Daddy Canyon. I hadn’t been there for a long time, and we spent quite a bit of time exploring the rock art there. Next we drove up Cottonwood Canyon toward Bruin Point. Near Twin Hollow we came across a Ford F-150 that had been badly wrecked, but nobody was around. A little farther up the road at a landing strip we spotted some wild horses. We saw a few stands of aspen that were still clinging on to their yellow leaves, but at Bruin Point the colors visible in Water Canyon were still very vibrant. We descended toward East Carbon/Sunnyside and then drove back to Price, ending a mellow yet still fun weekend.

Capturing petroglyphs at Daddy Canyon
Capturing petroglyphs at Daddy Canyon

Horseman and boat petroglyphs
Horseman and boat petroglyphs

A house?
A house?

Blue Elk pictograph
Blue Elk pictograph

Daddy Canyon petroglyphs
Daddy Canyon petroglyphs

Two excellent Fremont petroglyph figures
Two excellent Fremont petroglyph figures

Ute hunting scene
Ute hunting scene

J.W. Thompson, 1907
J.W. Thompson, 1907

Oops! On the way from Cottonwood Canyon to Bruin Point.
Oops! On the way from Cottonwood Canyon to Bruin Point.

Wild horse at a landing strip between Dry and Cottonwood canyons
Wild horse at a landing strip between Dry and Cottonwood canyons

Yellow aspen at the head of Cottonwood Canyon
Yellow aspen at the head of Cottonwood Canyon

Preston Nutter Ranch
Preston Nutter Ranch

The forks of Whitmore Canyon
The forks of Whitmore Canyon

Mount Elliott
Mount Elliott

Above Water Canyon
Above Water Canyon

Colorful trees below Bruin Point
Colorful trees below Bruin Point


Photo Gallery: Wedge Overlook to Nine Mile Canyon