Indian Creek

Udink

Disappointed, passed over.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,532
I originally expected this post to be titled "Indian Creek and Davis Canyon," but I underestimated the awesomeness of Indian Creek. Alan and I spent eight hours on Saturday exploring along a stretch of UT-211 just over four miles long and found hundreds of petroglyphs and a few pictographs. I took over 700 photos--my new record for a single day--and Alan took nearly 1,000! We were finding so much rock art along Indian Creek that we never made it to Davis Canyon, and even during the drive back out of Indian Creek we were spotting rock art that we'd missed on the way in. At some point one has to draw the line, though, and if we wanted to make it home before summer we needed to just keep on driving.

Alan planned the trip and we got the usual 6AM start from my place. There was a lot of fog between I-70 and Moab, and south of Moab the roads were snow-covered. We hadn't planned on there being several inches of new snow in Indian Creek Canyon but it didn't hinder us much. We stopped first just around the corner from Newspaper Rock and looked at some petroglyphs and inscriptions from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Newspaper Rock was mostly covered with snow. I didn't really mind the snow over the rock art--it gave it a uniqueness not often seen.

Ice crystals that grew in columns on the Jeep while driving through fog on the way to Moab


Church Rock in the mirror from UT-211


Cliffs with old inscriptions and petroglyphs


Petroglyphs


Part of an 1885 inscription


Newspaper Rock


Newspaper Rock


We didn't have a lot of stops planned for this trip. There were some places where Alan knew of rock art, but for the most part we just drove slowly and stopped whenever either of us saw something. The next stop after Newspaper Rock was one such place with some petroglyphs spotted from the Jeep. There was so little traffic, and so much snow on the shoulder of the road, that I just parked in the travel lane with the hazard lights flashing. There was a very nice panel there with three large bighorn sheep, and nearby was a row of nine smaller sheep.

Three sheep


Checking out some petroglyphs we spotted from the road


Petroglyphs


Nine sheep


We made frequent stops and they all blurred into one another. I lost track of the number of individual sites we visited. Some rock art panels were very close to road level and others were up steep talus slopes. Most of the sites were within spitting distance of the road but we did hike up a few side canyons. The photos tell the story better than a narrative, so here are a bunch of 'em.

Sun petroglyph spotted from the road


Parked on UT-211 looking for rock art


Petroglyphs


Figure inside a figure


Many snake petroglyphs


Hiking up to some petroglyphs


Petroglyphs


Large petroglyph panel


Petroglyphs


Climbing down from some very high petroglyphs


Petroglyphs


Parked along UT-211


Crossing Indian Creek


Very faded pictograph


Unnamed side canyon


Yucca and snow


Alan getting a closer look at some petroglyphs


Three figures


Large prickly pear cactus


Large and very cool petroglyph panel (there are even some glyphs inside the crack)


Long snake petroglyphs


Centipede and circles


Petroglyphs


Three sheep


Big-foot archer


Petroglyphs


Faintly-abraded figure with some petroglyphs


Large abraded figures only reachable by climbing up a crack between a boulder and the cliff


Climbing down the crack


Side canyon


Very cool flute player


Kangaroo


High and low petroglyphs


Petroglyphs


Two (or three?) figures


View up the canyon


As we approached our last planned stop I took a breather while scrambling up a steep hill and trained my binoculars on the cliffs farther down the canyon. I spotted a granary 0.3 miles away and hoped we'd have time to hiked up to it before the sun set. The panel we were hiking up to, called Fighting Men, had a lot of other great petroglyphs near it. It took Alan and I a while to clear the cliffs in each direction before being sure we'd seen it all, then moved on toward the granary.

A granary that I spotted through binoculars from 0.3 miles away


Inside-outside


Petroglyphs


Petroglyphs


Petroglyphs


Petroglyphs


Petroglyphs


White pictograph


Getting the shot up high


Fighting Men panel


Fighting Men


Petroglyphs


We got up to the granary while the sun was still shining. There were a few large abraded (as opposed to pecked) petroglyphs near the granary, along with a LOT of inscriptions. Shadows rose on the cliff walls as Alan and I searched them for more rock art. We found a few more petroglyphs, and I found a cave-like feature but it was too dark for me to explore fully. I took a few photos with the flash on but it wasn't until after getting home and viewing the photos on my computer that I realized there was an 1899 inscription and some petroglyphs inside.

Granary


Old inscriptions, abraded shield figures, and probably a Ute horse petroglyph


Inscriptions and concentric circle petroglyph above the granary


Sun setting on the granary


Odd petroglyph


Inside the cave near the granary


Shadows rising on the cliffs of Indian Creek


It got cold quickly with the sun behind the western canyon walls. There was a lot more to see but our exploration was over for the day. It's somewhat of a long drive for just a daytrip, but I can foresee me going back to Indian Creek again a few more times.


Deer and an old cabin


Donnelly Canyon


Peak 7,010' (directly west of Newspaper Rock)



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

Featured image for home page:
slide.jpg
 

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,934
WAY cool! I'm blown away by how much art you found in such a short time and space! Just amazing. And may I just say, screw FB for not showing me this album when you posted it. I saw this trip report and was more surprised than usual!
 

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,398
I've driven through Indian Creek Canyon countless times, and I almost always spot something new on each trip!
 

Udink

Disappointed, passed over.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,532
And may I just say, screw FB for not showing me this album when you posted it.
Yeah, I've never figured out what their rationale is for not letting you see everything your friends post. :devil:

I've driven through Indian Creek Canyon countless times, and I almost always spot something new on each trip!
If I ever make it back for Davis Canyon I'll have to plan an overnighter and devote an entire day just to make the drive through Indian Creek! :D Although I'm sure Davis Canyon itself is worth an entire day, so it's just as well that I didn't make it there this weekend.
 

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,398
If I ever make it back for Davis Canyon I'll have to plan an overnighter and devote an entire day just to make the drive through Indian Creek! :D Although I'm sure Davis Canyon itself is worth an entire day, so it's just as well that I didn't make it there this weekend.

Davis is definitely worth a full day....and more :) There's a nice place to camp just outside the park boundary :)
 

barl0w

I slay white dragons, adventure, and take photos
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
163
Awesome TR! Thanks for sharing the great photos as well!
 

pixie1339

Desperately Seeking Sandstone
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
1,692
Nice TR Dennis! I love Indian Creek. I done the drive slow and spot rock art thing through there before. Lots of neat stuff! Due to the lack of good turnouts, one of these days I figure I'll just hike alongside the road for four or five miles to see what else I can find.
 
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