Roy and I have traveled the main 50 mile road twice now; each time we find more and more rock art and ruins. There are about 75 found sites and more are being found; we have seen about one third of what is known about currently. We plan to keep going back, when the weather permits; not to just ruin and rock art hunt, but the area is so serene and lovely. For the two times we've been there, I'm going to do a two-part write up for each; yes! I have that many photos to share with my readers. Due to the roads being repaved, the mile markers were also changed as much of the road was "straightened". There are many private ranches in Nine Mile Canyon, and several oil companies, so fixing the road was a must. I'm going to post a map Roy and I created for the travels we have done, and a legend of how to find the sites we now know about. I shared this information with the director of tourism of Carbon County, and she was very excited about it all.
UPDATE: The map and legend below are no longer valid as of March 2015; click HERE for the new updated map and legend.
Nine Mile Canyon Map
The Mile Mark Legend
The legend gives an idea on how to find the correct road, so I'll spare repeating those details and get right to the photos. When it comes to a scenic drive, this is one of the best; we brought a picnic with us both times.
|Mile 10.7 along Soldier Creek Road|
|Mile Mark 21.1 - Welcome to Nine Mile Canyon|
First Site is at mile mark 26.7; a short dirt trail, but make sure to examine the wall face from bottom to way over your heads.
Back on the main road, mumbling to ourselves about stupid maps and rocks, when suddenly, at mile mark 32.5, well how could you even miss it...Balance Rock! We parked off the side of the road a little east and walked back; good thing too, or we wouldn't have noticed the rock art. It's not just on the bottom of Balance Rock itself, but further back along the walls on both sides. One of the figures is called "The Juggler" or "Balloon Man", but I have my own theory about it. I see this figure as a "creation figure", "The Great Father" creating the planets; like I said, my own theory.
|The Juggler/Balloon Man|
Besides the numerous rock art and ruins, pay attention to the scenery around you, and overhead; many rock formations are interesting in themselves.
...and that's the end of part one of the October adventure through Nine Mile Canyon. I so hope I've enticed you enough to want to take this adventure yourselves. Part Two will be chock full of more photos, so if I haven't enticed you yet; there's still hope!