Ancient Rock Art and Ruins

  • This thread needs to be ruined! This place is a popular 3rd. class hike & the BLM has now imposed daily visitor limits.

    Ray Cedar Mesa 2006 060.jpg

    Ray Cedar Mesa 2006 059.jpg

    Ray Cedar Mesa 2006 061.jpg

    Speaking of hikes, this hike is not popular. Heidi & Angela pretending it's a good trail.


  • As I understand it, real people used to live there. It was their home.

  • Cannon 062.JPG

  • @Scole Hmm... feels like maybe this one is not quite so ancient?? Gives me a sidewalk chalk art feel, eh?

  • 20121203_0100.jpg

    One from the "If I told ya' I'd have to kill ya'" department.... 🦂

  • Toby! Those red "pictographs" date from about the time "Whitie" started disrupting Native American culture back to maybe 2,000 years ago. Lot's of them north of the Snake River plain in central Idaho & I'm sure other places too. There's a few really bad ones south of the Snake River, including some near City of The Rocks.

    Here's some more from SE Utah, since I'm not currently traveling with my collection of Idaho Pictograph images.

    This spot had so much broken pottery, we named the site "Pottery Barn." Too many tourists are carting off those fragments as mementoes, or in hopes of selling them. Most visited sites have few "potshards" these daze. We've started reburying the better ones we find.

    An off the beaten path Anaszi kiva.


    Heidi & the same kiva.
    IMG_1918-small-enhanced - Copy.jpg

  • 116.JPG

    Red Desert, Wyoming!


  • Well, there are deserts, and then there are deserts. Photo below was taken in a real desert. Just a different kind than you find in the US Southwest.

    As to "ancient", no, this rock art is not ancient in the way the petroglyphs in the photos upthread are ancient, but it sure did give off an ancient vibe...

    Approach 1981008 lo res.jpg

  • We were gifted part of an awesome book collection from Ken Boche which included a two volume book set of Petroglyphs and Pictographs of Utah.. absolutely amazing

    *I'm posting these photos of the books and contents for the purpose of research, in case folks would like to obtain a fine educational resource




  • @J-Fengel , hey there say... wow... thank you so kindly for sharing this... oh my.... 😮 🙂

  • Awesome stuff, thanks for sharing

  • Tipis.jpg

    Three big lodges, three small.

    Pay no attention to the off width roof crack, this thread is about ancestors, not climbing

  • Here's some central Idaho Pictographs. This one is high above Big Lost River.

    8-3-2005 020.jpg

    This one is on Birch Creek.

    birch Cr. 2-6-18 007.jpg

    A view of one of Idaho's 12,000' peaks from near the above pictograph. An Idaho anthropologist who wrote a book on the subject mentioned that many pictograph sites were in significant places, often near water &/or with exceptional views.

    birch Cr. 2-6-18 001.jpg

  • There are a number of noted petroglyph sites along the Snake River in Southwest Idaho. The most noted & the hardest to reach is Wees Bar, which the BLM even had a small printed guide to, at one time. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places. The ancient petroglyphs are often deeply incised into hard river-polished basalt boulders.


    In May 2009, Heidi & I drove down to an old dam across the Snake River. From the dam I had not one, but two guide-book articles that said it was a 3.5 mile hike down canyon to Wees Bar.

    The hike is across the dam, then upstream, then up a hill on an old road, then back down the hill, and follow the road downstream to an old stone house where the petroglyphs are.

    Or you could float down from the boat launch below the dam.

    But really, it was only supposed to be a 3.5 mile hike----each way, with a hill each way, and sandy soil, and rocks, etc. After walking across the dam, I noticed some old guys leaning against a railing looking upriver. It seemed like they were locals and might have knowledge of where the somewhat obscure trail might start. I greeted them in my best "South Idaho Twang" and asked if they knew anything about a trail down to Wees Bar, where there were petroglyphs. After a moment of silence: I added "Indian Rock Art."

    One guy knew. He said we needed to hike the trail they had just ridden to the dam, on their ATV's. He added that they were going down to the same place, only he called the rock house "the old mission." My official BLM guide to Wees Bar dates the rock house as a 1904 farmhouse, but I didn't try to correct the fellow. He was actually pretty nice: for a overweight ATV guy.

    We walked, and walked, and walked & the temperatures inched up towards the high 80's. Early on, the group of old, overweight, ATV folk, which now included two fat women, rode by us with waves and smiles. I knew they were smiling, because they thought we were soooooo dumb to be walking.

    We figured we would knock off the 3.5 miles to Wees Bar in just over an hour. Wees Bar does not show up on USGS maps, so I had not bothered to bring a map. I mean it was a "duh-hike." Follow the road, then trail to the petroglyph site marked by a ruined rock house.

    An hour & 30 minutes later, we again found the fat bastards----I mean the ATV folk, eating lunch in the shade at a little abandoned orchard. They assured us Wees Bar was "just around the corner."

    A mile later, we climbed another hill and had the fat ATV folks putt by us again. Oh, our guidebooks also told us there was "no vehicular access" to Wees Bar. We watched them & their ATV's go for another 1/2 mile before they vanished. We still had not found any rock art or stone ruins.

    We turned around and trudged back to the car.

    Afterwards, we drove down a road on the dam parking lot side. From the end of the road, we could finally see the ruins another 1/2 mile downstream.

    On my map program the morning after we got home, it looked like we hiked 5 miles each way, and the rock house, aka old mission, is down 5.75 miles.

    In 2010, we cheated with our pals Jerry & Angie, drove to the end of the road, inflated our Aire Puma raft, launched it with some difficulty & rowed hard, to get across the wide river before a rapid.

    From there, it was a short walk to the petroglyphs.

    IMG_1852-small 2.JPG



    Some of the larger boulders with petroglyphs are around 20' wide by 10' tall. Some of the petroglyphs have been there so long that the original white colored scars to the rock have now darkened with patina to nearly as dark as the original rock.



  • Back to SE Utah. There are so many ancient ruins there, that some folks have explored for a lifetime.

    Most of those folks don't find an ancient Anaszi Pot, but happily many folks now practice:

    "Catch & Release Pot hunting."

    Heidi & I have managed to find two, with the help of friends, research, & a lot of hiking in the last 18 years of exploring SE Utah.

    This one is somewhat well-known as the David Robert's pot, since it is described in one of his books. He was later distressed to learn that diligent pot-hunters were able to follow his obtuse clues. We have visited it twice & it was still there in 2016, but far too many people know where it is.


    5-5-2013 pot.JPG

    Although we had spent 5 days, over two years searching for the first pot, the second one was a closely kept secret among a small group of friends of our SLC pals. After two searches, we found it too.


    It is well-protected from the weather & people like Heidi & me finding it.


    Given, that you read this & don't want to steal these 600 to 1,000 year old pots for yourself, of course the question is??

    Why wouldn't we report these to the BLM & make sure they are now safe in a museum?

    They have survived just fine in their "Outdoor Museum" longer than any existing museum has been in business. Also, compared to the Anaszi pots you see in museums, these are plain, & broken. If these were "collected" by a museum, they would be in the basement, or later, might well be "de-accessed", which means sold by the museum, so they have more money for more desirable items for the collections. A fair number of desert rats like them instead, in the "Outdoor Museum," where they have been for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

    Anasazi pots at the Edge of The Cedars Museum in nearby Blanding, Utah.

    IMG_0344-small 2.JPG

  • I admire your travels and reporting Fritzee!

  • @FritzRay said in Ancient Rock Art and Ruins:

    "Catch & Release Pot hunting."

    To which I'd only add that if you find it in a location that others are soon bound to find, them maybe tuck it away somewhere out of sight.

  • Somewhere I have photos of dinosaur tracks next to petroglyphs in new area we were developing, how full circle is that?

Log in to reply