|Map of the Excursion|
From Monday through Thursday, nine club members enjoyed a hiking excursion out of Hanksville, Utah. It was an eclectic week centering on ancient pictograph paintings and a few geologic wonders. We also enjoyed a little off-roading and the flavor of Hanksville, Utah. During the next week, I will be writing about each day and the adventures we had. This will include photos and maps, of course.
|Petroglyphs in Capitol Reef National Park|
Seven of us caravanned up through Capitol Reef National Park and took in the roadside petroglyphs.
|Long Dong Silver (I didn't name it.)|
Next, we visited a very tall thin spire in a section called the Lower Blue Hills about 7 to 8 miles west of Hanksville. The spire was quite impressive!
|Moqui Queen Pictograph|
Tuesday, we drove south from town on Utah SR 95 to the Hog Spring Picnic Area. A trail led us down along the roadside wash to a very large alcove where we found an exquisite pictograph called the Moqui Queen. She has suffered bullet holes but I used photoshop to restore her to her fabulous beauty!
|Sandstone near Sandthrax Canyon|
Next, we drove up the road to the Sandthrax Canyon Trailhead. Curious, we hiked over to the entrance of the canyon that only the craziest of canyoneers tackle. We explored up in the sandstone above it and discovered a trackway of some animal in the stone. Cool!
|Petroglyphs at Sandthrax Canyon Trailhead|
Back at the trailhead, we took a look at the petroglyphs nearby. They were pretty large!
Driving back up the road about half a mile, we came to the trailhead for Leprechaun Canyon. The name is misleading though, until you reach the end of the huge cathedral-like entrance. Then, the canyon becomes very narrow - a la Sandthrax Canyon - slot. We thought about exploring further but .... Tight places just aren't my thing!
Last on the agenda for Tuesday, was an area named Little Egypt. It is similar to Goblin Valley but more colorful and tighter in presentation. It was beautiful and magical so we wandered around taking photos.
|Hiking Old Woman Wash Trail|
The next day, Wednesday, we drove north on SR 24 to a gated dirt road just past the Goblin Valley State Park turnoff. This was a bad road that had been "improved" with a grater this season. The loose rock was still sharp and sticking up from the road. We were tooling along slowly when we reached a place where a wash had been flooded out. The go around was full of deep sand, hidden rocks, deep dips, etc. We all jumped out of our two cars and inspected the situation. Both cars were Subarus with 4WD so the drivers kicked it in and got through the obstacle just fine.
The road led to the Old Woman Wash Trailhead where we talked to two men who were camping there and had done our hike the day before. We followed their footsteps at times and easily found the "Unexpected Panel" of pictographs located 3.5 miles up the trail. David Morrow, our fearless leader, had done his homework and had the landmarks memorized and the waypoints lodged in his phone.
|David Morrow in Wildhorse Canyon|
On Thursday, we drove back up to the Goblin Valley Road and turned off to find the Wildhorse Canyon Trailhead. This hike and the day's before were located inside the San Rafael Reef Wilderness of the San Rafael Swell. We didn't have to hike up the canyon too far to find the alcove up high on the north side that held another ancient pictograph panel. All of the panels we saw were of similar styles ranging around 3000 years old. Amazing!
|Wildhorse Canyon wash Pictographs|
After we finished at this panel, we took a short cut over to the Wildhorse Window Trail. Fun!
|Pictographs at Wildhorse Window and Rita|
We followed behind another group of hikers from Holland who were heading to the window as well. After we passed them, we hiked up the wash to the very large alcove. Up on a shelf to the right, yet another pictograph panel resided.
In the ceiling of the alcove was the window. It was essentially a very large hole in the roof! We sat for our break then returned by way of the window trail.
|Temple Mountain Wash Pictographs|
Lastly, Rita and I drove home by way of Temple Mountain Road. That was an adventure as well! Twenty miles of good dirt road and gorgeous scenery! Who could ask for anything more?
Check back and see more details, photos and maps about each hike in the coming days.