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Thread: Nine Mile Canyon VII: Awesome!

  1. #1

    Nine Mile Canyon VII: Awesome!

    After spending the previous day in Nine Mile Canyon and seeing some high-up rock art from a distance, I returned to climb high above the canyon floor to get a closer look. First, I stopped to look for a petroglyph site that Celia had told me about the day before. There's a "First Site" in upper Nine Mile Canyon that is so-named for being the first rock art site one encounters when traveling downstream from the head of Nine Mile Creek, but there's in fact a much-farther-upstream site. Thanks to Celia's directions I was able to find that site.

    "First Site"

    I parked my Jeep below the ruins and rock art that we'd seen the day before, and it would remain there most of the rest of the day. I had named the waypoint in my GPS "Awesome!" based just on what could be seen from the road, and it turned out to be much more so up close. There was so much to see in the immediate area that I spent most of the day climbing higher and higher and finding rock art all along the way. At first I saw a few very small petroglyphs and an arrowhead which was the first I'd seen anywhere in Nine Mile.

    Unusual wildlife in Nine Mile Canyon

    My Grand Cherokee visible through a hole in the wall of a ruin

    A panel of small petroglyphs

    Tiny sheep petroglyph with my hand for scale

    Ooh, a pretty rock! The first I've seen in Nine Mile.

    Next I encountered the first of several upside-down figures. I can't help but think the figures represent something, but I'd stop short of guessing what that might be. Another prevalent theme in the area was dots and zig-zag and wavy lines.

    Faint upside-down-man (left) and a guy with something strange going on between his legs

    Large sheep and associated lines and dots

    Wandering line

    Small sheep and long squiggly line

    Tiny petroglyph

    Partially pecked-in sheep

    Pecked line and scratched elk

    One more common theme was anthropomorphs with antlers or antennae, the first of which was one of the most interesting petroglyphs I've seen. It appeared to be a figure with antlers, but one hand was pecked solid, and it appeared to be standing on a tree-like element with a snake-like figure between the legs. Very odd. I climbed higher and found many more surprises--it seemed unusual to find so much rock art so high above the canyon floor.

    Anthropomorph with antlers


    Anthropomorph and other random petroglyphs

    Transverse and square waves

    Sheep and dots

    Upside-down horned snake

    Large (about 6'x6') panel of diagonal lines and zig-zags

    Another upside-down guy

    The next interesting petroglyph I encountered was a large grid, almost in the shape of a human figure, but not quite. Next to it was a large, inverted representation of an arrowhead. I stopped for lunch, then climbed yet higher and found a smattering of random petroglyphs, but no more large, cohesive panels.

    Large grid and other interesting petroglyphs

    Long zig-zag line and a strange sheep

    One-horned guy

    Running sheep

    Antennae man

    Big sheep

    Shield guy

    Curly-tailed sheep

    High-up petroglyphs

    The sun was almost behind the high canyon walls when I returned via a circuitous route down through the ledges and back to the Jeep. During the drive home I saw many deer, some of which crossed the road in front of me and were kind enough to pose on the hillside next to the road for some photos.

    1x2 buck deer

    4-point buck

    Photo Gallery: Nine Mile Canyon VII: Awesome!
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  4. #2
    I love all your trip reports and photos. Thanks for posting!

  5. #3
    Nine Mile seems like endless exploration! Thanks for posting. I need to get down there to explore more!

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