Shaman's Gallery aka Gordon's Panel Pictographs in Grand Canyon

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Good day,

Last weekend a bunch of friends joined me for a hike into a remote part of the Grand Canyon to see and photograph the Shaman's Gallery pictograph panel. Thought I would share just of few photos.


Big thanks to blueeyes and Miss Buffalo for participating with the group.

This is a strenuous hike from the top of the Grand Canyon to the bottom and back up. The hike is actually in Tuckup Canyon (which in turn is part of the Grand Canyon). The elevation loss/gain is 1800’ in 3.8 miles (7.7 mile round trip) Not for everyone.

The GOOD STUFF:
Gordon’s Panel, also known as Shamans’ Gallery, contains the oldest prehistoric evidence of man in the Grand Canyon and is quite possibly the most important rock art panel discovered on the North American continent.

When originally found by a Grand Canyon burro wrangler (Gordan) he took photos and sent them to the experts. The reply was, “that is Aboriginal art from Australia”. He had to place these experts on horseback and guide them to the site so they could see for themselves. The pictographs here are unlike anything you will see elsewhere.

The BLM and other agencies keep this site a secret and they will not give you directions, in fact my experience has been they send you on wild-goose chases just to protect the site.

The site was used by Indian Shamans to try and communicate with the supernatural for thousands of years. Did they actually see what they painted? The images are multicolored, abstract, and life sized. Underlying these figures are earlier images. Some of the smaller figures in the caves, the oldest paintings, look like neanderthal man paintings. Other paintings look like deer with huge antlers, “space men” with antennas, and objects that look like space craft. The writings here are the oldest prehistoric evidence of man in the Grand Canyon and is arguably the most important rock art panel discovered on the North American continent dating back 1400 to 20,000 years.

Despite the importance of and unusual nature of this site, very little research has been done. There have been limited excavations near the site to help determine who the artists could have been or how they lived. The age of the site remains estimated and still debated among the experts. Some estimate 8,000 while others insist it's 20,000 years old. 20,000 seems to be the more common estimate. Most of the paintings were done with mineral pigments that cannot be carbon dated. However, it might be possible to test for organic dyes that could be carbon dated, such as Oregon Grape, a dye well known to ancient Indians for producing a yellow color.

Lastly, the site has not been protected properly by the Park Service and vandalism has started to occur. Partially this is because it is in such a remote location of the Grand Canyon and is thereby a difficult area to protect. But as a result of this, the Park Service has not advertised the site to the public either. Gordon’s Panel has been kept a “secret” for a long time.

Gordon’s Panel is in a remote location. It is possible to hike there and back in one day from BLM land if you are in shape. If you are unsure you can find the location on a map, purchase a topographical map of the area to compare against. It is not recommended to hike in the hot summer months (I did that once and will not do it again), as temperatures can exceed 120 degrees fahrenheit, full sun exposure (no shade) and no water to speak of. Be sure to bring plenty of water, food, and first aid gear.

From wnorton using an iPad and Tapatalk HD.

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Nick

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#3
Very nice shots of it. I'm looking forward to seeing this on my backpacking trip through there next month. :)
 

Bob

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#6
There is supposed to be a smaller one on up the nearby canyon. Also supposed to be another down canyon from the old copper mine around by cottonwood springs. We only found the main panel, not the others on our trip in there many years ago. Its probably the best panel ever.
 

Michael

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#7
Well written and fantastic pictures. :)

Gesendet von meinem HTC One X mit Tapatalk 2
 

DAA

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#8
Neat panel for sure. I'm skeptical about many of the stories around it (historic inscriptions at the site indicate others visiting decades before Gordon, for instance...), but that takes nothing away from the panel itself.

When I was there I was wishing I had more time to explore the area. Lots of stuff catching my eye that I had no time to investigate. We had people waiting back at the Jeep for us so we (my son and I) did the round trip in 3 hours.

- DAA
 
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There is supposed to be a smaller one on up the nearby canyon. Also supposed to be another down canyon from the old copper mine around by cottonwood springs. We only found the main panel, not the others on our trip in there many years ago. Its probably the best panel ever.
Any chance you have more beta on the addiotional panels?

We did find one metate in the cave nearby. No art though. I also found another cave on the return but didn't bushwhacked over to it. Next time.

Wade


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#10

blueeyes

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#11
It was a great hike. I was just as enthralled with the fossils along the hike in/out as I was with the panel itself. Thanks wnorton. Enjoyed the day immensely. If you go back looking for the other panels do let me know!
 

Bob

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#14
Nope, ran across bits and pieces in texts indicating the other panels, nothing pinpoint. When we went it set records for how hot it was and water was a issue. The copper mine is obvious as well as that canyon. The other canyon is the one right over the ridge from the main panel, supposed to be up canyon somewhere. Wouldn't suprise me if they were there. Thats the problem, no one wants to say where anything is....have to hunt.
 

Daniel K

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#15
Neat panel for sure. I'm skeptical about many of the stories around it (historic inscriptions at the site indicate others visiting decades before Gordon, for instance...), but that takes nothing away from the panel itself.

When I was there I was wishing I had more time to explore the area. Lots of stuff catching my eye that I had no time to investigate. We had people waiting back at the Jeep for us so we (my son and I) did the round trip in 3 hours.

- DAA
Hello. I visited the site when it was simply called 'Shamans Gallery'. I recall a very long dirt road and then walking trail to the site that took several hours or more. That was about 15 - 20 years ago. The history I heard of was that the land was part of a huge land grant or homesteading back perhaps into the early 1900's. The landowner at the time discovered it when trailing through the canyons. At some point he donated the land to BLM and personally hiked to Shamans Gallery with officials from BLM. From there word spread to the local hikers, which is how I got there (from a local resident who heard about it and visited it himself). Just a couple years back, I hear about this 'Gordons Panel'. Too bad that this guy Gordon whoever he is has taken credit for this but he also posted directions to the site... no wonder it has been vandalized. I also recall friends of mine in Arizona attempting to get a hold of Gordon to ask him to remove the maps to the site, but the guy conveniently removed all his contact info from his site... not sure if that is still the case. Gordon speaks about how spectacular and pristine the site is and then broadcasts its location.... not pristine anymore. May all who see, hear or think about Shamans Gallery benefit in some way. Daniel Los Angeles.
 

Bob

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#16
Didn't have to advertise it to get vandalized.............happens to most all the decent sites by some fool. Years ago wasn't writing your name , but a few good bullet holes.
 

PW

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#17
Thanks for posting the great pictures. I have been to Toroweap twice - its one of the most spectacular places on this planet. I will plan on checking out Shaman's Gallery the next time I wander down that crazy road to Toroweap.
 
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#18
I have noticed that Gordon's website with map has disappeared. I have also noticed that some geotagged pictures on Google Earth and Flickr have also disappeared. I have noticed this for other semi-secret locations.

Is it safe to assume that the NPS or other Feds troll the internet looking for this stuff and then ask people to remove any too specific information?
 

DAA

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#19
Is it safe to assume that the NPS or other Feds troll the internet looking for this stuff and then ask people to remove any too specific information?
Judging from the fallout from Nicks posting of the original unabridged version of his Salt Creek TR, I'd say that yes it is safe to assum they do.

- DAA
 

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