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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Do you know the other Grand Canyon?

Utah's Little Grand Canyon 

Only 1 and 1/2 hours from our house, in south central Utah, you will find a most glorious spot. 

Also known as "The Wedge" Utah's Little Grand Canyon is located in Emery County, Utah.

From the Wedge outlook point you can see the deepest part of the San Rafael River Canyon.

As an added bonus and still in the San Rafael Swell area, take a side road to the Buckhorn Wash Rock Art Panel. 

A well maintained dirt road will guide you through towering Sandstone rock formations.

 The road will become more winding and narrow, you can almost feel the presence of mysterious and ancient peoples. 

Somehow these simple flowers (Fireweed) look right at home. 

And around another bend and you will discover

 The Buckhorn Wash Rock Art Panel.

Painted on freshly exposed Sandstone with powdered hematite mixed with animal fat, preserving them for thousands of years. 

A Pictograph panel which spans 130 feet.  
It was painted well over 2,000 years ago.  

 It was painted by Native Americans named by Anthropologists as the  "Barrier Canyon Culture".

And when you go there, watch the sky.  Those innocent looking and white puffy clouds can turn into dark and threatening clouds. 

The next thing you know there is a torrent of water sweeping you away.  

Have a great week, dear friends. 



  1. Gina, thank you very much for introducing me to your nearby other grand canyon.

    Your photographs and descriptions of the markings and settings are very welcome to me, as a person who's never gotten farther west than Kansas City, for a very long ago business trip when I was a computer programmer at AT&T.

    I admit that our western USA terrain does not speak to my heart and eye in the same way as many other "moist" landscapes to be found across the Atlantic. Even so, the western landscapes and the light that accents their beauty do have a certain fascination.


    1. Dear Frances, Oh, you must come out West one day. Utah has 5 National Parks. Each and everyone of them different and their beauty will leave you speechless. It may look dry and inhospitable but really, it is lush and green nearby. There is a reason why so many Europeans flock to this State every year.

  2. Dear Gina - It is really interesting to learn about this Barrier Canyon Culture who lived in Utah's Grand Canyon 2000 years ago. It looks an inhospitable place in which to reside although beautiful to look at - the colours are magical. It appears that humans find a need to leave their mark wherever it may be and although different, these rock paintings remind me of ones I have seen in France, Spain and Norway too.

    1. Dear Rosemary, Native Americans usually lived at the bottom of these canyons. There it is warm in winter and cool in Summer. Rivers run through verdant valleys and soil is rich and ready to grow corn and squash..
      I have only seen the rock paintings in Spain and in France and you are correct, they look similar. I have always been fascinated with ancient cultures and here in Utah, we have plenty of examples for study.

  3. So interesting, I have seen canyons in Africa and New Zealand but these are majestically and I can imagine when your are driving or walking between these rocks, you feel the presence of ancient times and mysterious people. Love to see the Fireweed in the wild, I have them in my garden.

    1. Dear Janneke, Every turn of the road provided another beautiful vista. The day we visited no one was present which, of course, made it even more magical. We were glad to have our friends with us and a picnic in a sacred campground just added to the mystique.

  4. Dear Gina,

    Thank you for sharing the Barrier Canyon Culture wth us. I'm sure that to the Native Americans it was a sacred space, and I can imagine that it feels sacred still to be in such a spot. I spent a day at such a site in New Mexico — Chaco Canyon — and it was magical. What happened in such places, and how people must have lived, leaves so much to the imagination!


    1. Dear Mark, Chaco Canyon is a very special place. I am so glad that you were able to visit it. It is strange how powerful these places are and how they are able to influence our thoughts.