It hadn’t been a particularly hard winter with slightly above snowfall in the mountains and little snow in the valleys… just the way we like it. However, as we mushed through January and February, the temperatures stayed below normal. It refused to get into the 40’s even on sunny days. By the first of March, we were demanding warmer temperatures!
March 5th promised to be in the 50’s and that was good enough for me. I loaded up my Dodge Ram and headed south to the San Rafael Swell near Goblin Valley State Park. My destination was in Wildhorse Canyon to visit some pictographs that I had not yet experienced.
When I arrived at the trailhead, the weather was calm enough to fly my drone above the canyons once before beginning my hike up the canyon.
The hike was fairly short, just less than a mile one way. That was good because I was REALLY out of shape. (I had spent the winter fighting health issues that 65-year-old geezers can sometimes have.) My hiking was slower than usual but it felt SOOOOOO good to be out and about in the wilds again!
Once in the mouth of the canyon, there is a section of narrows that almost qualify as a slot canyon with beautiful striations in the sandstone.
The pictographs were not too hard to locate. They were on the roof of a small alcove, about half way up the cliffs on the north side of the main canyon. A sandstone ramp lets you climb to the alcove level and a little slickrock scrambling got me into the alcove itself. (Good rock gripping boots required.)
The alcove was an excellent place to sit and contemplate the ancient rock art as well as the solitude of the canyon… at least until I noticed that I could still see highway traffic in the distance. I then headed back to my truck.
Once I was out of the canyon, I found I still had enough time to drive further south along the edge of the swell and fly my drone several more times. There is a section of the swell that I would like to fly over but it looks like I am going to have to hike for a mile or so into the swell foothills in order to be able to fly over the area that I would like to look at. I will add that to my bucket list of southern Utah trips.
It was a good day!