Tuesday, April 2, 2019

It's the journey not the destination

Today was a journey day.    Yesterday was a destination.   They were both great days.

Today we went looking for the South Fork Indian Canyon Pictographs.   From the description and instructions we had, this trip sounded like a relatively easy journey with an interesting destination -  pictures painted on canyon walls between 62 BC and 452 AD.

sand everywhere

We took paved Hancock Road to BLM 50 and then followed it alongside the back of Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.

The road was sandy  (not deep sand) with a few rocky ledges and deep ruts but nothing Rocky couldn't handle.

twisty turny road

We ran through pockets of snow, tall pines and encountered a few small knots of deer along the way.

my first pussy willows of the year!

By the time we arrived at the trail head, about 11 miles on BLM 50, the darkening sky opened and it began to spit rain.     Our description said the hike to the pictographs was about a mile and a half, no problem, but it neglected to say that that distance was over the side of the cliff and DOWN to them.  Down the side with steep drop offs.   The sign at the beginning of the trail said the there was a 1700 elevation difference.....Nope - nothing is worth that to me.  Besides, it was raining and the road back out was tricky in dry weather so we piled back in and headed home.   Aborted destination.

the trail went over the side right by the round rock outcrop

I guess I'll have to do a little more home work next time.   Actually, when we got home and I looked up the area I discovered that someone probably added an extra "0" to the trail head sign and that the elevation change was probably 170 feet, not 1700!

More deer on the way home, more views of the glowing orange sand mountains.

And, once down from the sand we found some interesting rock formations to scramble around and explore.

It was a good day.


  1. It was a good day! Just poking around (as you say) is so much fun. And you certainly had lots to keep the eyes busy. The cute deer were a sweet addition. The final rock photos remind me of the Fire Wave in Valley of Fire.

  2. Your Jeep sure takes you to some amazing places!

  3. Your tires look good with the sand on them :) It would not be much fun doing 3 miles RT in the rain even if it was only 170' drop, it's still 170' up and wet. Great to see the deer checking you out.

  4. Such a gorgeous drive even if the destination was a bust. Great pic of the "dirty" tire tread! My dad brought me back a bottle of pink coral sand from his travels to that area. And then I didn't see them when we were in Kanab! So another great reason to return :-) We're in the high 80's so spitting rain and snow on the ground seems a million miles away. The deer are so sweet.

  5. I would have bailed on a 1700 ft elevation difference in a mile and a half hike, too! Too bad you discovered afterward that someone had added an extra '0' to the number. But even without the hike, it looks like you had a glorious day.