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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Red Dye Number Two... End Of The Road In The Waterpocket Fold

There is a great canyon wash at the end of the road in Capital Reef National Park. It runs dry as a bone, carved nowadays by intermittent flash floods. It's a great slot canyon to wander, but not so narrow that it produces heebie jeebies in anxiety prone hikers. In fact, Capital Gorge is just wide enough that early pioneers used it as a scenic route into the park before it was a "park," first in wagons, and later on in Model T Fords. One particular wall is called the Pioneer Registry. It's graffitied with names and dates going back to the 1800's. We thought that pretty cool, until we discovered pictograph "graffiti" that predated the "pioneers" by a couple thousand years :)). How easy (and convenient) it is to forget that we are "the immigrants." 

Any guesses on what the real "pioneers" were trying to say? Was it simply "art," or was it "language?"

Then we found petroglyphs... etchings, if you will. It's not likely you will find this handiwork on your own, as they are not marked with a sign and not easily seen from the wash. So here's a hint. Hike downstream until you get to what's left of the second of two dams, stop, look up and to your left. Binoculars will help. Then hike up and have a look. The best panel is on the same wall, but upstream a few hundred yards. You're welcome :))

The veins of red are Nature's "art," like Somebody spilled a bucket of paint up top.

The "Pioneer Registry." BTW, you are not allowed to "sign in" anymore...


  1. Binoculars...can't believe I hadn't thought of that. I'll have to remember when we get to canyon country again to bring them along. What's a little more weight to drag around, eh? Nothing like finding those things that aren't part of the "tourist package". Love the red veining on the rock!

  2. That tall weeping wall shot looks like a landscape painting.

    Such amazing country. I need to return to Capital Reef.

  3. Love Capitol Reef! Can't wait to spend some real time in that area in the RV.

  4. Pam and Wayne,
    Thanks. Loved your post on Petroglyphs... some great ones, for sure!!! Check out Capital Reef's unsigned rock art :)) next time you guys are in the area.

    I kept staring at the wall tapestry... seeing different things come and go... deep woods with tall trees was a common theme, like a painting. I need to get a better photo of those spots and then hang them on the wall as "art." thanks

    We've hiked all but one trail in Capital Reef... but ReDo's there are just as grand as the first time.
    Got you guys added to my sidebar links, BTW.
    Thanks all!

  5. The wall of art does look like the shadows from a tree. Cool places you are taking us all to.

  6. Teri,
    Thanks... as long as I'm here, might as well share the "Journey." :)


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