Devil's Garden

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A last-minute trip came together for Saturday, with Wade, Alan, and me heading into Devil's Garden in Arches National Park to look for some scratches in the sandstone. Alan and I met Wade in Green River where it was snowing and the temperature was in the mid-teens. We hopped into Wade's truck and drove the remaining distance into Arches, along the way deciding to try the back entrance to the park along the Salt Valley Road. We made our way easily to our planned parking spot at the Klondike Bluffs turnoff. The first mile of hiking took us across the flat bottom of Salt Valley to the base of some low cliffs that parallel Devil's Garden's southwest side. While walking along the bottom of the cliffs looking for a route to the top, we found a drill hole dating to 1931 and a 1926 inscription by A.D. Drake.

Entering Arches National Park on the Salt Valley Road


Our parking spot


Alan hiking in Salt Valley


Wade at an old drill hole


U.S. Potash Test, Utah No. 1


Walking along some low cliffs, looking for a route to the top


A.D. Drake, 4-13-26


Atop the lower level of cliffs we found an old, long unused road that we followed a short distance until we found and climbed up a break in the upper cliffs. It was a relatively flat walk through the snow the remaining distance to the fins delineating the southwestern extent of Devil's Garden.

Wending our way up the cliffs


Old road between cliff bands


Climbing up the final cliff band


Snow-covered yucca


Entering the Devil's Garden


We quickly found what we came for: a Denis Julien inscription from June 9, 1844. We located it based upon an "X" drawn on an old topo map that a friend of Wade's had sent to him. The Julien inscription was carved directly over some petroglyphs, and nearby were other inscriptions dating to the first half of the 1900s. Just around the sandstone fin from the inscriptions was a small but interesting petroglyph panel.

Moises Martinez, Mora, New Mexico, January 31, 1924


Our goal for the day: Denis Julien, June 9, 1844


Petroglyph under Julien's name


Backward bighorn


Petroglyphs


Having completed our objective, we explored the fins in Devil's Garden where we found a few more inscriptions, but none as old or interesting as the Julien writing. After a lunch break under a small overhang, we continued our exploration and attempted to find another "X" on Wade's map. We were looking for a "C.R. 1878" inscription, but the map location placed it in an unlikely spot and I don't think any of us were confident that we'd find it. However, after we had split up and each gone looking in different directions, Alan called out saying that he'd found the inscription in a natural arch.

Between fins


Sheepherder porn


Fins


Arch in a fin


E.P. Vigil, January 9, 1930


Dark Angel


Icicles


Our lunch spot


Alan in an arch in Arches


C.R., 1878


We exited the fins of Devil's Garden using the same route we'd taken in, then decided to hike over to the Dark Angel formation while checking out the outer edge of the fins along the way. We found two overhangs that each held signs of Indian usage. There was charcoal, flint flakes, and even a broken metate, but unfortunately no rock art. Once at Dark Angel we realized it was getting quite late--we knew we'd be getting back to the truck in near-darkness.

Hiking through deeper snow


Slot between fins


Overhang


Hidden arch


Another overhang


Broken metate


Fallen fin leaning against another fin


Overhang with metate in lower-right


Approaching Dark Angel


Beginning of trail


We hiked the top edge of the cliffs looking for a more direct route down into Salt Valley, but we ended up backtracking almost to where we'd originally climbed up through the cliffs before finding a way down. It was a long mile back to the truck, which we reached at about full-dark.

Looking for a route down the cliffs


Alan descending the cliffs


Heading back across the flat in Salt Valley


Finally back at the truck



Full photo gallery:
https://picasaweb.google.com/Dennis.Udink/DevilSGarden

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Nick

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#4
Holy whiteout man! Sweet finds and way to kill it through the storm. All this snowy sandstone I'm seeing lately is making me feel the need to head south!
 

Nick

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#5
P.S. The Klondike Bluffs sign seems more appropriate than ever before.
 
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#8
I will have to keep an eye out for these next time I am hiking in the area. Didn't realize there were so many inscriptions in the area!
 

Artemus

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#9
Nice report, Dennis! Sure is the wonder of BCP. Just when Ithink I am running out of "new" in Utah someone shows up with another adventure spot I have to see.
 

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Laura

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#11
Holy whiteout man! Sweet finds and way to kill it through the storm. All this snowy sandstone I'm seeing lately is making me feel the need to head south!
Makes me want to head north! The last two winter trips to Utah have been duds as far as snow goes so I hope this year's trip gets me some conditions like that! I'm sitting here in the sunshine dying for snow! :cool:
 
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#12
Nice find on the Denis Julien inscription. Its really right over the rock art.

A friend asked the ranger at the Arches front desk once where it was, he gave us some vague directions...I haven't gotten around to checking on yet. Was really researching him once and tracked down info on 5 such inscriptions. The coolest one is at the base of Hell Roaring canyon with the boat. I haven't gotten to any of them yet, just another thing on the list.
 

Ron Belt

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#14
Nice to see a fellow Arches explorer. Been roaming the park since the late 70's and just got back from Eagle Park yesterday. This is a follow up to your Moses Martinez wall art as there is another cowboy art drawing there that I shared from 1924. Another name you will see a lot is Domingo from the mid 30's. This drawing is near a rare to see arch and also hidden petroglyps nearby in Eagle Park.
 

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Ron Belt

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#15
Years ago I found a Folsom point and shot a photo of it just outside of the Arches Park north boundary which links to Sego Canyon. Talking Wooly Mammoth hunting here. Inside Arches is a huge panel of petroglyphs, pictographs, and archaics combo style. Both range back about 10,000 years ago. Here's a drawing back by the Dark Angel area from that era.
 

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Ron Belt

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I have a lot of these photos but my favorite ones are the aliens intermixing with the native people. The Gods if you will. This is high up on the wall so most people miss this one while looking around. I even lost it twice and re-found it finally to make note as to its location. Here the spaceman is in full gear as its space ship is in the upper left corner of photo. There are a lot of these alien drawings in Arches.
 

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#17
Years ago I found a Folsom point and shot a photo of it just outside of the Arches Park north boundary which links to Sego Canyon. Talking Wooly Mammoth hunting here. Inside Arches is a huge panel of petroglyphs, pictographs, and archaics combo style. Both range back about 10,000 years ago. Here's a drawing back by the Dark Angel area from that era.
Very cool...I've been to those petroglyphs but missed the pictographs. I'll have to keep an eye out for those next time I'm in the area :)
 

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