|Guide||♦||3 Triplogs||0 Topics|
explore, plop down, retreat
A very large petroglyph panel located at the junction of Butler Wash and the San Juan River in San Juan County, Utah.
Not to be confused with another significant panel located to the east, this panel (sometimes called the Lower Butler Wash Panel and sometimes the Kachina Petroglyph Panel) is located on the west side of Butler Wash.
Also, the 0.7 mile distance assumes that you've driven nearly to the site from lower Comb Wash. If you don't have a high-clearance vehicle this should not be attempted and it will add another 4 miles (total) to your hike. It should also be noted that the condition of Comb Wash south of Highway 163 can change dramatically given precipitation and temperatures, there are numerous stream crossings, and potentially deep sand. Recovery gear could come in handy.
Another way to reach the panel is from the river. Guides can be found in Bluff and Blanding.
From the end of the un-named road, hike east along worn trail at the base of the cliffs. After emerging from a tree canopy, you'll come to a wide open field littered with sherds. You may wonder why all those pottery fragments are there. Look closely at the ground and, especially on your return, you'll notice that there is actually a large, rounded, raised area. This is the remains of a large group of dwellings. Hence the ceramics.
Shortly past the sherd field, look up to the left and you'll see the beginnings of a lengthy petroglyph panel. Hike up to the panel for a closer look. The original renderings are of the Glen Canyon Linear style and, in some cases, are superimposed by later Basketmaker artistry. Polly Schaafsma (a leading authority on Native American rock art) says that this panel is "One of the most spectacular displays of the San Juan Anthropomorphic Style".
Take your time to soak up all the details, noting trends and differences. You may also find that photographing the panel is best done down at ground level.
Afterwards, plop down on a downed tree by the river for a snack or lunch break. Return the way you came and be sure to check out River House Ruins along the way.
Check out the Triplogs.