|Guide||♦||2 Triplogs||0 Topics|
No barriers to this canyon's art
The Bartlett Rock Art site is a great way to see some Barrier Canyon style rock art without an arduous trek into the backcountry.
Painted several thousand years ago by the predecessors of today's Ute and Pueblo peoples, Barrier Canyon rock art is almost always painted and often much larger than life. The figures are often described as "haunting," and, "otherworldly," and many panels bear modern names that reflect this, such as The Holy Ghost Panel and The Comet Thrower.
This panel has seen heavy visitation since at least the 1950s, owing to its proximity to Moab. As a result, there has been some vandalism and numerous social trails leading to the site. Thankfully much of this damage has been mitigated in recent years. Please respect that hard work and help preserve this site for future generations.
The hike itself is fairly short (roughly a quarter mile) but it can be extended by further exploration along the ridge. Furthermore, if one has a low-clearance vehicle the hike becomes longer - about a mile and a half round-trip from the turnoff on BLM Road 137.
From the parking area, the rock art is clearly visible in the massive, north-facing alcove directly to the south. Read the orientation kiosk and then follow the trail to the left. There are still scars from numerous social trails that cross the dirt directly between the parking area and the alcove. Instead of continuing to damage that area, stay on the slickrock. You will contour around the east side of the basin. When snow is melting or after a rainstorm, the slickrock at the entrance of the alcove can be the bottom of a waterfall, so be cautious - this also means ice forms readily on this slope when it is colder. Watch your footing!
The best views of the art are probably from the base of the alcove fill, but you can climb up for a closer look. There is also a seep and some neat relic vegetation (pines, etc.) in the alcove. If you brought pets with you, don't allow them up into the alcove fill (as with any other archaeological site) and remember not to touch, trace, or otherwise mark on the fragile sandstone surface.
Once you've explored the alcove and seen your fill of the rock art, return to your vehicle the way you came.
A small seep, but bring your own.
Camping is available in nearby established campsites but this location is closed to camping.
Check out the Triplogs.
Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.