Saturday, October 25, 2008

Courthouse Wash Rock Art

At the south end of the Court House Wash Trail in Arches National Park in southeast Utah there is a Rock Art Panel that overlooks the junction of the wash with the Colorado River. There is a side trail climbing up to view the panel.
  The south end of the Court House Wash Trail can be accessed with out actually entering the Park. The Courthouse Wash Trail is the only true canyon habitat trail in Arches Park and is about 6 miles long.

There is a parking area about two miles south of the main entrance along Highway 191. The Rock Art Panel faces the highway.

The trail up to the Rock Art is about 0.5 miles and is marked by rock cairns but there is not a sign pointing it out, so you have to know you are looking for it. There is an interpretive sign below the panel that is visible before the panel is.

There is something of a jarring contrast in viewing ancient works of art, then turning to overlook a busy highway and the tourist and industrial activity of Moab.

The interpretive sign indicates that the long tapered figures are the work of archaic Indians and is known as the Barrier style. The Barrier style is the oldest style in the region and is associated with the Archaic Culture. The work may be 1500 to 4000 years old. Unfortunately, the panel was vandalized in 1980 and much of the color has been destroyed.

On the rock slabs that are in front of the pictographs, there are some petroglyphs appearing to be mostly of sheep. These are thought to be the work of the historic Utes. Sites that are near geographic crossroads, such as this stream junction are often used for Rock Art.

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