Bruin Point to Dry Canyon

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.

Bighorn sheep near Sunnyside
Bighorn sheep near Sunnyside

Ore buckets suspended over Water Canyon
Ore buckets suspended over Water Canyon

Part of a rock shelter built against a boulder (probably modern)
Part of a rock shelter built against a boulder (probably modern)

Ore bucket and support structure
Ore bucket and support structure

Aerial tramway support structure
Aerial tramway support structure

Swell Jeep on the climb up to Bruin Point
Swell Jeep on the climb up to Bruin Point

Asphalt seeping out of a boulder
Asphalt seeping out of a boulder

View from Bruin Point into Water Canyon
View from Bruin Point into Water Canyon

Bruin Point
Bruin Point

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.

Descending toward Dry Canyon
Descending toward Dry Canyon

1935 aspen carving, probably predating the current road
1935 aspen carving, probably predating the current road

Road descending into Dry Canyon
Road descending into Dry Canyon

Suck This, Lick These, Eat This
Suck This, Lick These, Eat This

Parked at a tributary to Dry Canyon
Parked at a tributary to Dry Canyon

For Sale sign on state trust land
For Sale sign on state trust land

Snack break on some beautiful private property in Dry Canyon
Snack break on some beautiful private property in Dry Canyon

Rough, washed out stretch of road
Rough, washed out stretch of road

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.

Broken Pepsi bottle
Broken Pepsi bottle

Anglo glyph
Anglo glyph

Fremont petroglyphs
Fremont petroglyphs

The Alcove
The Alcove

White pictograph inside the Alcove
White pictograph inside the Alcove

White pictos near the alcove
White pictos near the alcove

Yellow outline enhanced with DStretch
Yellow outline enhanced with DStretch

Dry Canyon granary
Dry Canyon granary

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.

Bighorn sheep in Dry Canyon
Bighorn sheep in Dry Canyon

Dry Canyon petroglyphs
Dry Canyon petroglyphs

Really funky petroglyph
Really funky petroglyph

Dry Canyon petroglyphs
Dry Canyon petroglyphs

Dry Canyon petroglyphs
Dry Canyon petroglyphs

The first Claret Cup bloom I’ve seen this year
The first Claret Cup bloom I've seen this year

Dry Canyon petroglyphs
Dry Canyon petroglyphs

Cool little Fremont guy
Cool little Fremont guy

Cool little Fremont gal
Cool little Fremont gal

Dry Canyon petroglyphs
Dry Canyon petroglyphs

Sheep with spear in its back
Sheep with spear in its back

Those dogs!
Those dogs!

The Mummy
The Mummy

Mysterious rock wall between cliff bands in Dry Canyon
Mysterious rock wall between cliff bands in Dry Canyon


Photo Gallery: Bruin Point to Dry Canyon