Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9 Mile Canyon

Over Labor Day Weekend we took a little day trip to 9 Mile Canyon.
Just a little's not 9 miles. It's more like 70 miles. The supposed reason that it is named 9 mile Canyon is that when John Wesley Powell explored the area in 1869, his cartographer used map making tools that were in 9 mile increments and it was nicknamed 9 Mile Canyon and it stuck. It is located between Price/Wellington and Duschesne. We didn't go all of the way up to Duchesne, we turned around and came back through Price. Most of 9 Mile Canyon is a dirt road. There are lots of really cool rock formations and such, but the big draw to 9 Mile Canyon is the huge assortment of petroglyphs.

This is balance Rock. I can't figure that one out, j/k.
We thought we missed it and then we went around a corner and it was pretty apparent.
This is a pretty typical petroglyph. You can see hundreds of them through the canyon just from the car. Many of them are right off the road, so you can stop and walk right up to them. We wondered how many more were out there if one were to hike very far. We just let our imaginations wander on that one since there were miles and miles of trails to explore.

It was pretty cool to hike up to the actual rocks and try to figure out what each of the pictures meant. It was pretty tempting to touch them but there is a sign at the beginning of the canyon asking you not to touch the rocks.
This is called "the Big Hunt". This is just a portion of the rock. It is near the Fremont Indian Village (which we had a hard time locating since we decided to just "view" it from the car.)
This particular petroglyph is one of them most photographed petroglyph in the state of Utah and has been published in magazines and travel brochures.

We loved this little adventures. The flyer that we had said to be sure and have a full tank of gas, plenty of water, lots of sunscreen, and a spare tire. I would recommend these as well. It was very hot and sunny and with a dirt road, the spare tire is necessary, too. We stopped to help a lady and her 2 kids who had a severe blowout and were ready to spend the night in 9 Mile Canyon.

Even though it was Labor Day Weekend there weren't a lot of people. But we saw a lot of interesting things. I believe that if Utah were lacking in National Parks/State Parks, they could put a big entrance gate at either end of the canyon, invest a little more in sight markers and park maps, charge park fees, and then use some strategic marketing and they could draw a lot of visitors. I still can't believe that there was so much ancient history in that canyon that was so accessible by foot. It was a great history experience for our family. We loved it and would recommend it for a family activity. It is easy to see sights from the road and for the more adventurous type, I'm sure you could hike for hours. 2 thumbs up.
(all photos except the one that she is in, were taken by Summer)


Julie said...

That looks like a fun place to take kids. Could you do it as a day trip?

Tia and Amara said...

We tried to do that one time, and drove and drove and drove, and finally I made Jeff turn the car around. I thought we had to have it wrong since it was a dirt road... wish we'd stuck it out. Someday. We go near there all the time on our way to and from Grand Junction.

Kristine said...

Great job with the photography, Sum! I think I might have to go there on one of visits home.