Wild Horse Window Rock Art


Aug 9, 2007
I visited Wild Horse Window earlier this week and saw the purported fake rock art panel inside the alcove. Since my visit, I've been trying to find absolute proof that the panel is indeed fake and maybe even tie down roughly when it was created. The closest I've come is a post on another forum from Shane of Climb Utah saying that it's definitely a fake and wasn't there on his previous visits. I've yet to find one other report on the internet from someone who says they personally know for a fact that it is a fake.

Now I'm not saying Shane is wrong, nor am I saying I think these are real. I just really would like to find and document a piece of actual evidence that it is fake. A photo of the wall in question prior to the fake going up would be awesome, or at least more people who personally visited before and after and are positive that wall was clean at one time. Any insight would be much appreciated.

This is the panel in question:





I don't really remember why I thought so when I went there, but I also "felt" like the art was fake.

Of course, I'm the worst person in the world for any authority on rock art, so take it for what it's worth.
We visited there again today with a few people who had never been there before, aren't archaeologists of any kind but between them have seen a lot of rock art over the years. The opinion was very much, 'fake'. But it is only opinion, based on a few things;
- Appears to be over the graffiti in places.
- No surface preparation, it's just smacked on natural rock.
- Thickness of the paint layers.
- Lack of care in the detail.
- Unusual colors.
- Just generally rough, kindergartener level of artistry.

Paint (1 of 1).JPG
I am interested in what you find out, but will have a very hard time believing that first pic of Devil Ant and Scuba Ninja are real no matter what anyone remembers.
Haha! I'm pretty sure scuba ninja is a 4,000 year old indian god.

I'm beginning to think I'm not going to find definitive proof. I think I've scoured every image I could find on the interwebs and I can't find one in which that wall is visible and there is no rock art.
Did you ask Tom Jones? I know he was there years ago because he posted pics of a trip rapping it back in the 80s. ScottP remembered going there on Sierra Club trips in the 80s but he was a kid then. Tom might even have the pics you seek but just did not post them.
Yeah, definitely fake. Was there a couple of times before it went up. Here's a report from 2001 and I'm pretty sure there was no fakies there then, as I would have noted it. http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/rave/quandary-canyon-oct-2001/ Although, since I hate fakies/vandalism, I believe in not publicisizing them so... My slide archive shows my first visit there being 1994. I would have photo'd the artwork then if it was there, even if fake. I certainly remember being very disappointed on first seeing it - but don't know when that was. Good to see it is deteriorating quickly.
The other thing that indicates fakeness is that it is on an actively deteriorating wall. That is not where artwork persists for hundreds of years.

it also looks so different than most of the stuff nearby.

Very different. I think this is the closest panel to there.



Thanks for popping in letting us know @ratagonia.

I agree - not a good idea to publicize fake rock art, but in a way, I think not publicizing as what it is isn't great either. There are so many trip reports and trail guides up on the web now that state these are ancient pictographs. And then of course lots of people saying they are fake but very few with personal knowledge to say for sure. I'm of the opinion that a fake panel like this should be wiped clean if there is zero doubt about it's authenticity. Anyone else agree?

BTW, that is an awesome panel, Dave. We visited it the day before WWH.
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Hi Nick,

I visited Wild Horse Window in Fall 2004 with my friend Steffen, the same day that we visited the very nice panel photographied by Dave above this post and, as rock art was the goal of this day, we were aware of any rock art and I can attest that there was no rock art at all in Wild Horse Window. At that time I hadn't get a digital camera so I have no picture of this wall but on this link http://www.synnatschke.de/srr/srr2.html Steffen posted a picture taken that day (I am the guy that you can see on it) but as this picture is very small it is not possible to see that there was no rock art on this wall.

A few years later (in 2010 I guess) I came back to Wild Horse Window and I was very surprised to find some rock art there but, because of my previous visit, I was absolutely sure that it was very recent thus fake.

That's just my 2 cents...
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