Friday, November 18, 2011

Moki Steps, Petroglyphs, Pictographs, Waterglyphs, Dinosaurs, Lions and...oh my!

the long and the short of it-a smaller dinosaur crossed at right angle to the larger
view from the top eastward
This booger is a dinosaur track pictograph! I got no idea how bullet holes got here. To see this baker's dozen (well I can't guarantee the mountain lions) from Kanab: Go east on 89. About 6 miles east of Johnson Canyon Rd. go north & park at the second cattle guard. Walk about 120 paces north on the same rd. Walk left on an obsolete 2-track and look directly at the Vermilion Cliffs. You are going to the top & the biggest white rock directly in front of you. Aim for the right side of it! About a 1000 foot climb. Perseverance will eventually get you some cairns. You must take the Moki steps. Allow 4 hours with plenty of picture taking and goofing off. A swell time for all! 
blue is unusual in pictographs

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cobra Arch/Middle Trail Loop

This hike is in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness.
Cobra Arch is one of the most unusual I've seen and the Middle Trail into Buckskin Gulch looks pretty good and doable. With just day packs it looks like a piece of cake (about 100 vertical ft.), but we didn't have time this go 'round to enter the gulch.
I've been in the bottom of Buckskin several times, but had never seen it from the rim until now. It's DEEP (up to 500 ft.)! Which I could kinda tell from the bottom.
Route to trail head: Take route 89 east from Kanab, Utah or west from Page, Arizona. Between mile posts 21 & 22, immediately east of  Paria River Guest Ranch, turn south on gravel road FR #750. Stay on the most main route, which is occasionally marked "750" to the Middle Trail. The trail head is just past a fence line, on the south side of the road, 7.8 miles from the paved Hwy. 89. The last mile is sandy and 4WD at certain times of the year. I made it all the way in 2WD.
Oh yeah, Long Canyon, which is about a mile from the pavement, looks to have some pretty neat narrows to explore sometime. It's not really colorful probably, but it is tight. 
Hiking route from the Middle Trail head: Progress south on the trail for a few minutes to where the fence is down (before 1st downgrade) and turn left or east on a well worn trail. Follow the rim for about 45 minutes where a trail  leaves the rim to the right and heads down slope. In another 45 minutes reach Cobra Arch. (So it's about 1 1/2 hours to the arch, 45 minutes on the rim and 45 minutes slogging through the sand to just below or south of the arch.) After visiting the arch head southwest toward the big gash in the earth which is Buckskin Gulch. Basically rim walk the north side of the gulch until the Middle Trail is intersected. This should take 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours from the arch. You'll get there. Then take the Middle Trail north and uphill back to your vehicle (let's say 1 to 1 1/2 hours again). With sightseeing, multiple stops for picture taking, and looking into Buckskin at various points, the whole loop took us 4 1/2 hours at a leisurely pace. WARNINGS: If looking into the slot canyon from above be extremely careful for two reasons: 1) Anything kicked or dropped or thrown into the canyon may kill someone below. 2) The slot canyon's rim is very disintegrated and flaky and if you are on a slab that breaks or if you lose your footing you are one dead person for certain.
Do take the time to look at the gulch access at Middle Trail. There are some good petroglyphs to see without leaving the rim or downclimbing.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Snake Gulch to the Corral

I recommend it.
Snake Gulch is full of pictographs (and a few petroglyphs) from the "Basketmakers", 300 BC to 800 AD. I would call this place Canon Pintado if it wasn't already taken. The jurisdiction is Kaibab National Forest (Kanab Creek Wilderness). An easy terrain hike, out-and-back to the corral and/or spring at Table Rock took us 6 1/2 hours, including lunch. It's about 6 miles each way and features mostly red pigmented pictographs. Hike early in the day to see the north side art work more easily in the shade. Snake Gulch trail runs generally east to west on this hike. The first art site is mostly petroglyphs in an alcove right, about 45 minutes into the hike. After that keep looking right all the way to the corral, which is about 3 1/2 hours into the hike (including sightseeing). Some pictographs are ankle-high and some are 20 feet above the trail. Apparently many ledges have fallen down. There are also many ruin piles, not of much discernibility except to archaeologists. They are still cool though, with some stone fencing obvious. Turn around at the corral and cross to the south side of the gulch as there are a couple of nice panels there. The corral has not much remaining except for fence posts. Recognize it by the granaries behind it and below an alcove. If doing a multi-day hike of Snake Gulch, there is a camping site existing on the south side of the gulch, across from the corral. This should be plenty of a day, shouldering a full pack. The Table Rock spring was dry this fall day.
Access: 1 mile south of Fredonia, Az. take a right onto Forest Service Route 22 for 21 miles paved and 1 1/2 miles gravel. Turn right on FS 423 for 1 1/3 mi., then right on FS 642 for 2.6 miles to the trail head. The trail is about an hour from downtown Kanab.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Archaic Rock Art

Thx to Jim A. and "Untitled Topo" for getting us here
Clue: our crack is left
Clue: this chasm's on the way
Clue: trailhead view

Clue: trail fossils on the way
Clue: Scarlett Johanson was not here
 Green is very unusual in "Barrier Canyon" art

Jack Sprague, chairperson of the Conservation and Preservation Committee for the ARARA submitted to Mr. G. Smith in 2008 that he was very distressed that Mr. Smith had published directions to a Barrier Canyon rock art site on the internet. I have spent 15 plus years investigating this remarkable (3000-4000 years old) style of rock art and my first inclination was to spout: "OK Mr. Sprague, so you can see this wunderbar site but no one else may?" Well, after having seen the sights for myself, I agree with Mr. S. this time. I rigorously object to a "don't ask don't tell" discipline regarding cultural resources, as I don't believe that most beer drinking vandals are willing to hike 10 miles to do their damage (I know it only takes one). I also find that if government personnel is pressed that they will give you just enough information to get you killed. When someone is sincere and determined to find a site in the desert, this is an absurd policy. However, the site which Mr. Sprague refers to is extraordinarily fragile. So I am not going to give you but clues here, unlike my usual hiking guides. By the way, Mr. Smith did cease and desist  publicly announcing the position of this site. Alas, unfortunately this is a good thing.
I will tell you that there are many miles of rough road (you must bear south 32 miles after entering the main gravel road from the highway) and a 1700 vertical elevation (in 3 miles) climb out of this site. Not for most casual vandals, but "Annie", you have gone or are going to Hell-Karma says.
I will say that I am not as concerned for this site as I am for Sego and Buckhorn. Those two sites are extremely accessible. Horseshoe (the quintessential) is protected by Rangers.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cottonwood Canyon Ruin Site

This wonderful site near Kanab, Ut. is one of the few cliff dwellings in the area. It is a difficult (approximately) 7 1/2 mile round trip hike and a person will likely only average just over a mile per hour. Well worth it! Start across Rt. 89 from the Hog Canyon 4WD playground entrance (so you will be entering the sandy track on the west side of the highway). After wallowing around a while you will find the only place where you can easily 4WD across Kanab Creek. First priority is to scramble to the top of the rim on the north side of Trail Canyon. You will (as per usual) constantly be thinking "this must be the top", but it isn't. If you began to get vertical asap, eventually find a tepee-shaped white dome rock formation and head for the deep red rocks directly above and northwest of the tepee. Shortly thereafter you reach a fence and the top. It is only about 3/4 mi. from bottom to top, but close to an hour. After going through the fence head west-south-west through sandy rim terrain for about 1 1/4 miles. This terrain is up and down, up and down-another hour. You should not get lost here, keeping Trail Canyon to your left. Tiny Canyon is on your right. Stay as close to Trail Canyon as possible while trying to stay westbound. Intersect an old 4WD trail (archaeologists or pot-hunters made this I assume) which has not been used for 20 years and heads still westerly. Difficult to follow in places (and we saw a rattlesnake too), but you don't belong out here if you can't do it. 25 minutes or 1 mile on this obscure track brings you to an intersection with a more evident north and south 2-track. This is the most important junction since gaining the rim. Go south on this track for five minutes to a locked gate and fence. Walk west along the fence 5 minutes or so to the canyon rim. This is not actually Cottonwood but it IS where the ruin is. At the end of the fence you are at the northern "finger" of a 3 "finger" canyon. Head south along the rim, keeping the canyon on your right. Basically heading south and west, 15 minutes from the fence you are standing directly above the ruin but will never see it. This cost me hours of rambling around. Now stay close to the rim! Heading primarily west now and looking back north and east, eventually (15 minutes approx. after you were standing directly above the site) you will spot an alcove which faces west and is almost obscured by vegetation. There it is! Get out the binoculars and you will confirm ancient dwellings before scrambling down. It's a tough climb down and back up (15 minutes out) and more rattlers live here. I don't know that this site is worth dying for, but snakes are scared of you too. Most bites occur if we people want to play with snakes. Rattlesnakes don't play, puppies do.
There is another way to the site but I am not sharing right now.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Kanab's Historic Homes

Kanab this Kanab that, blah blah blah. Well in the last posting I added a note about this town's historic structures. 15 are listed on the historic "Walking Tour". But I found many more. You can walk to all of them so I put it in this Blog. But to see them all in a day I recommend bicycling.  Do not take pictures of the residents. Do not publish any photos of these residences without written specific permission from the residents! It is strictly illegal to do so. None the less people are proud of these homes. Take a look. There are 15 structures on the Kanab "Heritage Walking Tour". I found 24 more homes with Heritage Council documentation signage. There are at least that many more that qualify, but these people do not appreciate gapers apparently. Kanab also has a historic cemetery and historic movie sets (free access) and movie star signage.
Some notes on the 15 structures on the "Walking Tour": the structure at 97W Center has a facade, the house at 101W 100N has an address on it of 106 on it (for sale MLS 1404772 and 4 stars in my opinion), the Heritage House (4 stars) at Main and 100S has an address of 115S on the fence, the B&B at 58S has an address of 54 on it (4 stars), the structure at 17W 100S is 4 stars, the structure at 116S 100W is 4 stars, the 4 star house at 93N 200W has a for sale sign but must be inactive, the commercial property at 86S 200W is for sale (MLS 1404456).
THE OTHER 24 HOMES: 400 SOUTH; 00 block West= Hayden & Sytha B. Church 1915, Joseph & Anna Brown 1919, 100 SOUTH; 100 block West= Edward K. Pugh 1905, 100 block East= Findlay-Hamblin 1915, 100 NORTH; 100 block West= Israel & Ella Woolley Chamberlain 1919, 00 block East= Willis C. Little 1905, 200 NORTH; 200 block West= George & Wandle Mace 1883, 300 NORTH; 100 block West= Cram-Beard 1932 (still in the family, not original outside??), 300 EAST; 200 block South= Frank L. Farnsworth 1918 (4 stars), 100 EAST; 200 block North= Hamblin-Larsen 1918 (4 stars), 00 block North= Francis Marion Hamblin, Jr. 1910, MAIN; 300 block South= Willow J. Mackelprang 1917 (4 stars), 100 block North= Shumway-Morris 1880-1905 (for sale MLS 1404688), 100 WEST; 100 block South= Nephi Merrill & Sarah Jane Mace Johnson 1917 (obscured by trees), 200 block South= Brigham Adelbert Riggs, Jr. 1929 (still in family), 200 block North= James W. Swapp 1912 (4 stars), 200 WEST (the best street); 100 block South= John Franklin Brown 1885, 00 block North= E. Leo Chamberlain 1916 (4 stars), Frederick A. Lundquist 1890 (4 stars), 100 block North= Jolley/Robinson/Kitchen 1893 by Jolley (additions by Kitchen & Robinson, for sale MLS 1403728, 4 stars), 200 block North= J. Marson Young 1936 (4 stars), 300 WEST; 200 block North= W. J. F. McAllister 1898, G. Franklin Swapp 1912 (for sale MLS 1404844), 100 block North= James L. Bunting 1888 (4 stars).
Most of these family names still have plenty of representatives living in the area.
So the original town site appears to have roughly been from what is currently from 300W to 400E and from 300N to 400S with a few "outliers".

Friday, July 15, 2011

Kanab's Vermilion Cliffs

Here's some great hikes not a 5 minute drive from downtown K town, Utah:
The Bunting Trail has a steep uphill grade to the Vermilion Cliffs rim with some petroglyphs to see.
The Squaw Trail, another rim trail, has the best view of the Grand Staircase.
K Ridge Trail to Tom's Canyon Trail, not my fave but a great workout.
The Mansard Trail: like the Procession Panel in Bluff, the reward here took 3 or 4 attempts to find. Like PP it was stunning & worth the effort. The formation east of Mansard is also worth a look. THIS IS A VERY DIFFICULT AND STEEP ROUTE FINDING WITH NO ESTABLISHED TRAIL.
The Solaredas Trail, reminds me of the Colorado Nat'l Monument area (we found some Moqui Steps).
These are all about 2-3 hours total out and back. All are steep and I would rate them moderately strenuous, except for Mansard which is harder.
If you are hanging around Kanab, it has an incredible amount of homes listed on the Heritage Council. Please respect private property and persons.
Throw your vitamin D3 in the garbage here. Blue skies and sun every day! Just watch the forecast for afternoon flash floods in July, August, September. And they CAN happen any time of year. I was in a flash flood in October-not supposed to happen.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Archaeological Finds For Finding

Prehistory of Perry Mesa: The short-lived settlement of a mesa-canyon complext [sic] in central Arizona, ca. A.D. 1200-1450 (The Arizona archaeologist)
I have indeed been lucky enough to find these sites:

No other clues forthcoming. You will find them if you're sincere.


Rochester-Muddy Creek Petroglyphs, rock-art, SW of Moore, Ut. (5*)

Sego Canyon, rock-art, NW of Thompson, Ut. (5*)


1. The Citadel, cliff dwelling ruins, SW of Blanding, Ut. (5*)

2. Perry Mesa (Agua Fria N. Mon.), mesa top ruins & rock-art, N of Phoenix, Az. (4 1/2*)many trails

3. Hardscrabble Wash, rock-art, N of St. Johns, Az. (4*)

4. Cannonball Mesa, mesa top ruins, W of Cortez, Co. (4*)can be biked

5. (Lower) Fish Creek, cliff dwelling ruins, SW of Blanding, Ut. (4*)

6. Cliff Dweller, old mine & rock-art, SW of Green River, Ut. (3 1/2*)

7. Owl Creek/Fish Creek Loop, cliff dwelling ruins & natural arches, SW of Blanding, Ut. (3 1/2*)

8. El Morro National Mon., pioneer rock-art, E of Ramah, N.M. (3 1/2*)

9. South Mountain Park, rock-art, S Phoenix, Az. (3 1/2*)