Monday, May 20, 2013

Bridger Jack and the Six Shooters.

The title of this post could almost be that of a Western novel.  Continuing West on Route 211, you are constantly being awed by what lies around the next bend.  Whether it is opening up to a vast vista, or a parking area where you can hike out onto the range; make sure to stop.  Get out of the vehicle and listen; it is quiet, so quiet that you feel like you're the only person left on the planet.  Even the moon peeks out to keep her eyes on this alien landscape.

Bridger Jack Mesa and the Six Shooters

Coming around one bend, you suddenly see before you Bridger Jack Mesa and the Six Shooters.

Bridger Jack Mesa - traveling West view
        In the Indian Creek area, a couple of miles past the  Donnelly Canyon, Bridger Jack Mesa looms to your left.  Turn left onto Beef Basin Road, cross the river, drive over a cattle guard, immediately turn right and follow the road until right below the serrated ridge of Bridger Jack Mesa.  This is a rough road, so your vehicle should have 4 wheel drive (SUV, Jeep or ATV); a car won't fair well.  For climbers, Bridger Jack Mesa and the Six Shooters are a definite must and no dirt road is an obstacle. 

The story of Bridger Jack is that he was a Paiute (also spelled Piute) Indian medicine man who attempted to cure William Posey's (1923's "Last Indian War") sick child; the boy died and Bridger Jack was killed for his failure. 

Bridger Jack Mesa - traveling East view

There are ruins and petroglyphs indicating the area was used mostly by the Anasazi; later on it was used by the Archaic (basket weavers), Ute and Navajo.

The Six Shooters
North Six Shooter
South Six Shooter
The Six Shooters are Wingate sandstone towers, also known as desert towers.  Their iconic name comes from the famous pistol of the Wild West, the Six Shooter.  If looking at the top of the towers at a certain angle, the similarity to the gun becomes evident.  Getting to the towers can be a task; a dirt road (4 wheel drive required) can be taken to Davis Creek; after that it is a 1 to 5 mile hike depending on which tower you wish to get to.

After passing by these stone giants, you're almost to Canyonlands National Park where The Needles are located.  Consider this your second appetizer, or the soup and salad course of the adventure down Route 211.

Mary Cokenour


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