New Book – Backroad Excursions – Exploring the 4 corners region

Backroad Excursions   Blurb Books

Purchase here

Thinking of a visit to Moab or the Four Corners Region?  Interested in exploring ruins and petroglyph’s which were created by prehistoric Indians as early as 1200 AD? Maybe explore the remains of an abandoned ghost town  or walk the path of no extinct dinosaurs viewing their petrified remains embedded within a rock wall?  Then this guide is for you, it features directions and images that will provide you and your family with hours of enjoyment through out your stay.

  • The Beautiful House on Fire Ruins
  • Three Castle Kiva
  • Mill Creek Dinosaur Grave Yard
  • Cisco Ghost Town
  • Sego Canyon Petroglyph’s
  • Monument Valley
  • The Canyonlands
  • Newspaper Rock

Just to name a few each description  provided comes with easy to read directions and images to assist you and your family in getting the most out of your visit to the Four Corners region.  Each one child friendly and most handicap accessible, purchase and download the ebook the information is as easily accessible as your cellular phone

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Published in: on April 3, 2013 at 2:14 PM  Comments Off on New Book – Backroad Excursions – Exploring the 4 corners region  

Expanded Functionality of this Blog

Several Changes have taken place to expand the functionality and your access to the information contained within this blog.

1) A downloadable app for the I Phone & Android so while you are hiking or driving you have the information and images at your fingertips.   Download Here

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2) We have set up a new website FOUR CORNERS EXCURSIONS.COM  or to be exact http://www.fourcornersexcursions.com or those of you viewing this on a smart phone can go with QR readers can scan here:

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As usual you can still follow us on our new Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/HikingTheSouthwest

our sister blog  Hiking The Southwest

and last highlighting the photography and still under development @ Southwest Photography by Bill Kettler

Any further updates will be published as they come along

Cave Valley, UT

Ghost Rock

Feature Name: Cave Valley
County: Washington County
Latitude: 37.32637
Longitude: -113.1091119

Feature Name: Cave ValleyCategory: Utah physical, cultural and historic featuresFeature Type: PhysicalClass: ValleyCounty: Washington CountyLatitude: 37.32637Longitude: -113.1091119

Cave Valley, UT

Cave Valley Pictographs – These are some of the best in Zion and are found along the Kolob Terrace Road. Again this rock art is protected and are settled among federal and private property lines ask at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center for directions.

Entrance to Large Cave

Cave Canyon in the Kolob Terrace is a remote site with nice rock art. There are also the well-known and protected Parunuweap ruins, but again, a park ranger needs to be contacted for more information and most of the sites are off limits to all but research personnel.

How to Search a Creek Bed for Indian Arrowheads

Dry Creek Bed
Authentic fragments of history, Indian arrowheads fascinate the young and old alike. Finding them isn’t difficult if you know where to look. In areas where Native Americans settled, you will find spearheads and arrowheads in and around rivers and creek beds. With a few hunting techniques, you’ll be well on your way to attaining a piece of the past.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Instructions

Things You’ll Need:
Metal garden trowel
Sieve, at least 8 inches wide
Plastic zip-type bags
Step 1
Research for the location of former Indian settlements at your public library or by talking to friends. Indians camped near water whenever possible so locating old riverbeds in areas where they lived is a good idea. Be sure to get permission if you want to explore on private property.
Step 2
Determine the time of year when the water in the creeks and rivers is the lowest. Some creeks are seasonal and can be completely dry for months. These make excellent arrowhead-hunting grounds.
Step 3
Dress for the occasion by wearing rubber fishing boots if water will be an issue. Don a multi-pocket vest to hold your “finds” and the implements you will use to locate them. A backpack is a good idea for bringing search items and snacks.
Step 4
Study the creek bed to determine which way the water flows when it is running. Not only did Indians camp by the water, it was a favorite spot to hunt animals as they came to drink. When an arrowhead was lost, it would sink, but due to the flat shape it often swept downstream when the water was rapid.
Step 5
Locate the front side of a bend in the creek. This is the most likely area for an Indian arrowhead to settle. These bends are easy to find because they usually have an additional accumulation of old branches and debris. Remove as much of the debris as you can, but if it is too heavy, don’t worry, you can search around it.
Step 6
Use your metal garden spade to scoop out small amounts of sand from the deposit. Use your sieve to sift the sand from rocks and arrowheads. Alternately, you may slice downward through the sand, listening for the sound of a rock surface hitting your metal spade. Search only the sand; arrowheads are rarely located in the clay sediment layer beneath.
Step 7
Scrape your spade between the exposed roots of trees that grow at the edge of the creek. This is another good place because these roots will often trap small arrowheads and hold them. Again, listen for the sound of metal hitting rock.

Explore, Be Patient and have fun

Published in: on June 13, 2010 at 5:09 PM  Comments Off on How to Search a Creek Bed for Indian Arrowheads  
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The Colorado Scenic Byway (Hwy 128) , UT

The Colorado Scenic Byway (Hwy 128) , UT

Length: 44.0 mi / 70.8 km
Time to Allow:
2 hours

This spectacular route along the Colorado River gorge in Moab, UT begins at the Colorado River Bridge on the north end of Moab. For the first 13 miles (20.9 km) it parallels

the Colorado River within a narrow section of the gorge, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding red sandstone cliffs. Popular attractions along this portion of the route include viewpoints of the river, public camping areas, and Negro Bill Canyon, which contains a delightful hiking trail to Morning Glory Natural Bridge.

At 13 miles (20.9 km) the gorge widens as the highway proceeds past Castle and Professor Valleys, which have been the shooting locations for many western films including Wagon Master and Rio Grande, along with numerous television commercials. The Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission has a museum at the lodge located at Mile Marker 14. Admission is free. After 24.7 miles (39.8 km) the highway passes a viewpoint for one of the grandest views in the west, the red rock spires of the Fisher Towers set against the often snow covered peaks of the La Sal Mountains.

The Colorado Scenic Byway (Hwy 128) , UT

After leaving the valley, the road winds farther up the river gorge until arriving at the site of historic Dewey Bridge at 29.8 miles (48 km). Unfortunately Dewey Bridge was destroyed in April 2008 by a brush fire. The road then follows the northern bank of the river for a few more miles before exiting the Colorado River gorge. At this point the highway proceeds across open desert toward the ghost town of Cisco at 44 miles (70.8 km). Cisco was founded as a water refilling station for steam locomotives along the main line of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. After another 5 miles (8 km) the route intersects Interstate 70.

Cottonwood Wash/ Buckhorn Wash, UT

Cottonwood Wash/ Buckhorn Wash, UT

Cottonwood Wash, is a wide-open rolling high desert, with low rocky bluffs studded with distant towering buttes. This road is well maintained and is generally a safe road to drive. The Buckhorn Wash portion of this route is especially scenic, with canyon walls rising many hundreds of feet above you, Native American rock art panels, a well-preserved dinosaur track and more! There are many side roads along this route, but the navigation of this road is easy-when in doubt, stay on the main road!

Mile 28.3 Mile 0
This is where the Cottonwood Wash Road intersects I-70 and heads north towards Buckhorn Wash.

Mile 26.2 Mile 2.1
This is a Sagebrush test area, used to study the effects of grazing by livestock. The western section of the enclosure was fenced off in 1937, while the eastern section was enclosed in 1961.

Sink Hole flat

Mile 23.3 Mile 5.0
You are at Sinkhole Flat, with the actual sinkhole surrounded by a circular log fence. The sinkhole is of little scenic value, and is included here only as a landmark.

Mile 10.8 Mile 17.5
Massive Window Blind Peak is to the east of the road, with the smaller Assembly Hall Peak to the north of Window Blind. Rising to an elevation of 7030 feet, it is the tallest free standing monolith in America, one of the largest in the world. It is called “Window Blind” because some of the rock formations near the top on Northeast side look like windows with the blinds closed. Assembly Hall was named for its resemblance to the original LDS assembly hall in Salt Lake City.

Mile 10 Mile 18.3

To the west, slender Bottleneck Peak rises to an elevation of 6401 feet.above sea level.

Mile 9.2 Mile 19.1
This is the bridge over the San Rafael River, and it is the boundary between Cottonwood Wash and Buckhorn Wash roads. Just to the south of the river is the San Rafael Recreation Area campground, maintained by the Bureau of Land Management. It offers many campsites, picnic tables, fire rings and pit toilets. There is no drinking water available. North of the river are many sandy primitive campsites under the cottonwood trees. The swinging bridge, located to the west, was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1938 and was the only bridge over the river until the early 1990s. Though you can no longer drive on it, it is perfectly safe to walk on.

Mile 7.4 Mile 20.9
Calf, Cow and Pine Canyons enter from the East.

Mile 5.5 Mile 22.7
One of the highlights of the entire San Rafael Swell is the mysterious Buckhorn Wash pictograph panel. There are some faint petroglyphs here, but the red pictograph figures are the stars of this site! The main panel was painted over 2,000 years ago by the Barrier Canyon culture. Learn more about the Barrier Canyon culture and how they made pictographs and petroglyphs. There is also a boulder with the names of the same CCC boys that built the swinging bridge over the San Rafael River carved into it. There is a pit toilet at this location.

Mile 4.2 Mile 24
On the sandstone ledge, about 40 feet above the road, is the Matt Warner inscription, dated Feb 17 1920. Matt was a very colorful outlaw that operated (on occasion with Butch Cassidy) from New Mexico to Washington State for over 18 years.  During that period, he frequented Green River, operating a saloon and brothel there.

Mile 2.3 Mile 25.9
There is a cattle guard here. Just south of the cattle guard is a parking area. Park there, and notice the trail heading to the east, up a steep hill. There is a large panel of petroglyphs at the end of this short trail.

Mile 2.1 Mile 26.1
To the east of the road a short distance is an interesting petroglyph. It can be hard to spot, so look for a series of bullet holes where some fool shot his initials (TKG) onto the cliff. Look left of those for a large, light colored crack running vertically. The petroglyph is just left of the crack.

Mile 1.6 Mile 26.6
A very clear and large dinosaur track can, with a little searching, be found here. On the east side of the road is a ledge of sandstone about 10 to 15 feet above the road. There are several paths up to the ledge. Once on top of the ledge, look for a larger flat area of bare sandstone at your feet. The footprint is on this large sandstone area, although you may have to move some flat rocks to uncover it. Visit the dinosaur pages within our site to learn more about other dinosaurs in Castle Country.

Mile 1.4 Mile 26.8
A short canyon is east of the road. There is an easy hike up the canyon.

Mile 0 Mile 28.3
You are at the intersection with the Green River Cutoff Road. West will take you to Castledale and Highway 10, east will lead you to US Highway 6

Location Of The Wash

Buckhorn Wash Pictograph Panel

Buckhorn Wash Pictograph Panel

The San Rafael River is the boundary-Buckhorn Wash north of the River, Cottonwood Wash to the south. The southern section, Cottonwood Wash, is a wide-open rolling high desert, with low rocky bluffs studded with distant towering buttes. This road is well maintained and is generally a safe road to drive. The Buckhorn Wash portion of this route is especially scenic, with canyon walls rising many hundreds of feet above you, Native American rock art panels, a well-preserved dinosaur track and more! There are many side roads along this route, but the navigation of this road is easy-when in doubt, stay on the main road!

Believed to be the work of the BARRIER CANYON CULTURE, the Buckhorn Wash panel is more than 2,000 years old. It predates the Fremont work found in Castle Country. The Barrier Canyon people did not have pottery. They hunted and gathered, used stone and bone tools and atlatls (spear throwers).

Distinctive features of Barrier Canyon
Rock Art

  • life-sized figures without arms or legs
  • broad shoulders, tapered trunks and bug eyes
  • dots, rays and crowns above heads
  • figures accompanied by birds, insects, snakes and dogs

How these Pictographs were made
Pictographs were painted on the surface of rock with natural pigments. Black was made from yellow ochre (a mineral found in the soil), pinyon gum and sumac. When stirred together, they form a black powder. Reds were made from red ochre and the roots of mountain mahogany. Rabbitbrush was a source of yellow. Likely binding agents were plant oils and animal fats. Petroglyphs were carved, pecked or chiseled into the rock.

Buckhorn Wash Pictograph Panel

Likely tools used in making Pictographs and petroglyphs

  • brushes made from human hair, dog hair or yucca fibers
  • flint or other stone chisel and hammers
  • hollow bird bones filled with pigment
  • fingers or mouths- paint could be blown out of the mouth and onto the rock creating a negative image often associated with handprints.

Vandalism
Paint, chalk, carvings and bullet holes have vandalized the Buckhorn Panel. The canyon’s proximity to the Old Spanish Trail and its use as a hideout for outlaws made the pictograph panel a prime target for vandals. Sadly, much of the damage is permanent and lost art cannot be repaired. However, the Buckhorn Panel was greatly improved in 1995 through an intensive restoration effort. Today vandalism of rock art is illegal and should be reported to law enforcement authorities.

The Restoration Project
As part of the 1996 Centennial Celebration citizens of Emery County initiated the restoration of the Buckhorn Panel. This project was a joint effort by citizens, the BLM, Utah and county governments. This site is one of several in the United States that has been restored by Constance Silver, an internationally known art conservator. The clean up took about six weeks at the site.

Please help preserve the panel by:

  • looking with your eyes, not your hands
  • reporting vandals to the BLM or local Sheriff

Follow This Map to locate the panels

Prehistoric Indians 1300 AD

Since quite a bit of the posts on this website are related to prehistoric Indians I have decided to add these images to provide a representation of the culture.

These are images obtained from http://www.joevenusartist.com

http://www.joevenusartist.com/Prehistoric%20Fremont%20Culture.htm

http://www.joevenusartist.com/Prehistoric%20Fremont%20Culture.htmhttp://www.joevenusartist.com/Prehistoric%20Fremont%20Culture.htm


http://www.joevenusartist.com/Prehistoric%20Fremont%20Culture.htm

http://www.joevenusartist.com/Prehistoric%20Fremont%20Culture.htm

http://www.joevenusartist.com/Prehistoric%20Fremont%20Culture.htm

Published in: on January 24, 2010 at 7:08 PM  Comments Off on Prehistoric Indians 1300 AD  
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The Parowan Gap

The Parowan Gap
Approximately 15 million years ago, a long slender section of sedimentary rock sheared from the earth’s crust along parallel fault lines. This up-thrown block, later named the Red Hills, began to inch its way above the surrounding valley floor. At the same time the block was rising, a stream was cutting a path perpendicularly across the ridge. For millions of years the uplifting of the ridge and the down-cutting of the stream remained in equilibrium.
Eventually however, the relentless rise of the ridge and the drying of the region’s climate combined forces to defeat the stream. The stream disappeared and the valley became a waterless wind gap. Continued erosion by wind and rain have shaped the gap into the pass seen today.
Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
Parowan Gap Petroglyphs

The Parowan Gap Petroglyphs are listed on the National Register of Historic Places signifying its importance as a cultural treasure.
Fremont and Anasazi Indians were the first known inhabitants of Parowan. Petroglyphs, pithouses, arrowheads, pottery, and manos dating from A.D. 750 to 1250 found in the area are evidence that it was on a major thoroughfare of early Native Americans. At Parowan Gap, a natural mountain pass twelve miles (19 km) northwest of Parowan, ancient Indians inscribed petroglyphs on smooth-surfaced boulders that feature snakes, lizards, mouse-men, bear claws, and mountain sheep. In addition, the Old Spanish Trail also passed through the area.
Pioneer Wagon Grease Signature
The Parley Pratt Expedition discovered the petroglyphs at Parowan Gap in 1849.  The pass is a classic example of a wind gap, an unusual geological landform marking where an ancient river cut a 600-foot-deep notch through the mountain.  Native Americans and pioneers used this ancient gap for thousands of years to provide easy passage through the Red Hills. Pioneer wagon grease signatures can be observed along the towering walls of the Parowan gap narrows . The north wall of Parowan Gap contains a huge gallery of Native American rock art.  Most petroglyph sites contain figures of humans and animals.  This petroglyph site contains many deeply inscribed geometric forms, along with some humans and animals.
The most interesting feature of this site is a very large and deeply inscribed petroglyph known as the “Zipper”.  Many archaeologists believe the “Zipper” is a composite map (space) and numerical calendar (time). The gap is a superb “gallery” of petroglyphs that features a 1,000-year accumulation of Native American rock art.
Parowan Gap Small Cave - Interior Glyph and ceiling Soot Marks
Parowan Gap Caves

At the east entrance of the Parowan gap narrows are two caves one usually refered to as the “Small Cave” the other refered to the “Large” Cave. They both contain petroglyphs. Soot on their ceilings, from torches or fires, indicate they were once inhabited by Indians.
Parowan Gap Large Cave - Interior Glyph Panel
Carbon dating has shown that the caves were in use from 3000 to 400 BC.

Parowan Gap is known for its amazing petroglyphs (click here to see information about the petroglyphs) but the site also contains some interesting paleontological resources as well. Near the petroglyphs are dinosaur tracks made by ornithopods, ceratopsians and theropods. These tracks (natural casts) occur in the Iron Springs Formation* and are usually
in the fallen blocks of light yellow-brown sandstone. Some tracks do occur in place, but most are in the large fallen boulders, so check them first! Originally, these footprints were made in non-resistant mudstones which have since eroded away to expose the sandstone cast.
Visiting the gap is a perfect way to spend an interesting and breathtaking hour in Utah’s desert country.
Directional Map
You can get there from a gravel road from Parowan by going north on Main and turning left to 10.5 miles on the last street (400 North)
or from Cedar City, go north on Main (or take I-15 Exit 62, follow signs for UT 130 north 13.5 miles, then turn right 2 1/2 miles on a gravel road near Milepost 19.
For Additional Information Contact:
Bureau of Land Management
Cedar City Field Office
176 East D.L. Sargent Drive
Cedar City, Utah 84720
(435) 865-3053

Calico Early Man Site, CA

Image Pending

One of the most interesting things that tell us about the history of human life in this part of the world may well be at this archaeology site where primitive stone tools have been discovered, originally by amateur archaeologists in 1942.

The site has been classified as a possible stone tool workshop, quarry, and camp site.  It is thought that the tools may have been used by early nomadic hunters and gatherers who stopped in this are to fashion the tools they used to survive.  The tools may have included stone knives, scrapers, punches, picks, and chopping tools, as well as some saw-like tools called denticulates.  The site has revealed no human remains or bones which indicate that it is more of a work site and brief campsite then a home camp.

The alluvial fan deposits in the area are uniquely deep stratum layers that my represent the oldest evidence of human occupation in the Americas.  In 1980, Drs. James Biscjpff. Richard Ku, and Roy Shellman estimated that the soils at this site may date back to over 200,000 years, using a uranium thorium dating process on the surrounding strata.

It is usual that to be involved in an archaeological dig you would have to go to the Middle East or South America, here you can stay in the States and explore the past with skilled people that care about history enough to dedicate their lives to the pursuit of proof.

Schedule of Operation: Wednesday 12:30 to 4:30 pm and Thursday thru Sunday 9 – 4:30.

Guided Tours: Wednesday 1:30 and 3:30, Thursday thru Sunday 9:30, 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30.  Closed on Monday and Tuesday.

User Fees: $5 Adults (1 or 2 people), each additional person $2.  Children (12 and under) $1 each, Seniors (62 and over) $2 each and Bus groups are$2 per person.

Location: about 15 miles northeast of Barstow off I-15.  From the Minneola Rd. exit follow the signs north about tow miles on graded dirt roads to the site.

Contact Information: Friends of Calico Early Man Site; Attn: Maggie Foss; 2024 Orange Tree Lane;Redlands, California 93474

Published in: on December 22, 2009 at 12:36 AM  Comments Off on Calico Early Man Site, CA  
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