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Thread: Dragonfly Canyon

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    Dragonfly Canyon

    For our second incursion of the weekend into the Canyonlands region, the group did a shorter ride and longer hike than we'd done the previous day to the Harvest Scene. The objective this time was Dragonfly Canyon, where we visited several caves/alcoves and the fabulous Dragonfly pictograph panel. We parked the bikes and hiked quite a distance before actually dropping into the canyon. Once in the watercourse it was fairly easy hiking, though we encountered many full pools of water along the way.

    Parking spot

    Hiking into the canyon


    Wild burros

    Dragonfly Canyon

    One of many pools in the canyon

    The first point of interest that we visited was a pair of alcoves that held some granaries and rock art. The alcove on the left contained many slab-lined granaries, along with some inscriptions and grinding stones. The right alcove revealed a small incised glyph on a ground-smooth surface on the ceiling. There were a few other similar prepared surfaces but with no glyphs on them. A couple more grinding stones were present in the second alcove.

    Two alcoves that each hold something special

    Ooh, a pretty rock!

    E. Musselman, 10-24-??

    Grinding stone

    Slab-lined granary

    Fingerprint details in the mortar

    Slab-lined granary

    Alan in the second alcove

    Grinding stone

    View out the alcove

    Incised figure

    After leaving the twin alcoves, we stayed high and contoured above the bottom of the canyon, which allowed us to spot another cave/alcove. We wouldn't have seen it from the main watercourse of Dragonfly Canyon. This one required some climbing to access it, made easier by earlier sheepherders who had stacked dead trees against the cliff. Both inside and outside the alcove were inscriptions from early sheepherders, along with yet more grinding stones left by the Fremont or perhaps earlier cultures. Quite unusual was, among signed and dated inscriptions, the words "LOOK OUT" inscribed faintly among the other writings.

    Another alcove in the distance

    Climbing into the alcove

    P. Moynier 1904

    Climbing into the alcove

    Grinding stone

    H. Moynier 1937

    Joe Lavigne 1910 (with "LOOK OUT" above)

    A. Carnier 1910

    Eddyjo Ekker 1941 28 August

    J. Garnier 1910

    Along the way to our final planned stop I spotted an unusual petroglyph on a boulder in the bottom of the canyon. It consisted of a long horizontal line with two curving diagonal lines, one of which had a couple of small bisecting lines. A map, perhaps? On the final stretch toward the Dragonfly panel I found a Canon polarizer and a fairly large four-point deer antler, both of which I packed out of the canyon. I thoroughly enjoyed my second visit to the Dragonfly panel. Once again, I spent more time admiring the rock art than just taking photos of it. The tiny details still amazed me, however.

    Unusual petroglyph on a boulder in the watercourse

    Dragonfly panel


    Dragonfly and another figure

    Holding a tiny animal figure

    Whispering weiner dog

    Antennae figure



    Dragonfly and another tiny figure

    Slab-lined granaries

    During the long hike out of the canyon the group spotted at least a couple of other spots that would be worthy of exploration. We didn't have time to check them out on this trip, but they're on my to-do list for future explorations.

    Hiking out of the canyon

    Another alcove that we had to pass up

    Seep below a large overhang

    My shadow on the exit hike

    Photo Gallery: Dragonfly Canyon
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