We spent a week or so on the Colorado Plateau in Utah. Apart from the obvious landscapes of Arches NP, Canyonlands NP (both Island in the Sky and Needles) we have had the opportunity to visit several sites of the Ancients.
We find these absolutely fascinating, whether Petroglyphs or Ancient Pueblo Ruins, our imaginations run riot to envision these little, ancient folk, and their inhabitation and use of these structures. We try and rationalize why the locations were selected for these structures.
In order to visit the sites of these ruins we have also enjoyed the hikes up washes, over slick rock and to the top of mesas. Fortunately this area of the Colorado Plateau has an abundance of sites to visit, unfortunately we have only had a week or so to do everything (including some fantastic high clearance vehicle (HCV), 4WD park roads – the raison d’être for Snowflake – who has performed perfectly).
The Petroglyphs have been dated by the experts based on the style of the images portrayed, some of which are as old as 6,000 years BC (yes not a typing error!). The “Newspaper Rock” Petroglyphs are probably the most famous, but it was our first time to visit them. They are incredible and some are quite different from anything else we have seen over the years.
The series just outside of Moab, UT cover a considerable length of the face of the mesa. Some were obviously damaged and removed as part of the road construction, but many survive at about 10 – 20 feet off of the ground. The explanation is that the Ancients bored into the rock and erected a form of scaffolding in order to reach that height. Very ingenious!
We also visited the sites of ancient pueblo granaries. There are many scattered over the Colorado Plateau whereas there are fewer dwellings, indicating that the Ancients were nomadic and created stores of food in the granaries marking their routes.
Then we finally hiked Mule Canyon to revisit one of my favorite Ancient Pueblo Ruins – the “House On Fire” ruin. I hope you enjoy finding these locations and perhaps share them with us.
The images are all in black and white as I feel this is the best way to give them a sense of history.
Gear: Nikon D800, Nikkor 80mm-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VRIII, Lexar Digital Film