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Thread: Black Dragon Canyon

  1. #1
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Black Dragon Canyon

    After leaving the March Moab Madness of Multiple Misfits I headed back into the San Rafael Swell.

    I found a really nice clean primitive campsite with surprisingly no one around for a Friday evening.


    Since the just received Traveling Lizard Award is supposed to be displayed on a fireplace mantle or other suitable place of honor I set it up by my fire.


    Now home it resides on the stove.


    I briefly considered a night ride through the canyon but wisely opted for a hike instead. Very nice with moonlight on canyon walls and deep spooky shadows. Heard some critters moving away from me, likely bighorn sheep or wild burros based on fresh poop and tracks found later.Next morning I went for a really nice peaceful ride up canyon looking for rock art and just enjoying the beauty and solitude. Sand wash riding was pretty nice too and explored some ever narrowing side drainages.


    The Black Dragon name comes from this petroglyph I believe. However it more resembles a dog in my mind. The chalk outlines are considered desecrations and constitute a federal crime.


    I eventually came across an adventurous elderly couple from Minnesota hiking through and they were intrigued by the quit Jeep-like putt-putt of Betty Boop. They were kind enough to take my picture while we chatted a few minutes about buying TWs to augment hiking and increase range of their explorations, AWD van camping, and other regional points of interest. Really cute couple, hope I am as active as they are in another decade or two. I saw no one else untill I was loading up and another couple showed up seeking directions. It is another of Utah's hidden treasures.


    There were more Barrier Culture rock art in the canyon but I found only a few before loading up once again and heading west. One could have raced through Black Dragon Canyon but I elected to tour sedately.
    Last edited by Fred; 03-26-2016 at 11:16 AM.
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    Senior Member elime's Avatar
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    Very nice! Was this off Hwy 50?

    I agree that the chalk shouldn't have been drawn on the pic, but at least chalk isn't permanent. Its a-holes with spray cans that I hate.
    Long live the internal combustion engine!

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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Really liked that pretty canyon


    Imagination made this a fossilized saber tooth tiger footprint
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Black Dragon Canyon is located in the San Rafael Swell just north of Interstate 70 some twenty miles west of Green River Utah. Being un-signed with no formal exit one has to look carefully for a sandy track and subtle gate in the interstate's right of way fence. The Swell is a hard to miss anticline rising up out of the terrain. Like the Grand Canyon it's uplift was matched by down-cutting erosion of run-off, thus the canyons that cut through the geologic features that otherwise seem a barrier to water flow.
    Unfortunately I took no video as my Contour camera's battery didn't take a charge.
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    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post
    After leaving the March Moab Madness of Multiple Misfits I headed back into the San Rafael Swell.

    Since the just received Traveling Lizard Award is supposed to be displayed on a fireplace mantle or other suitable place of honor I set it up by my fire.


    The Black Dragon name comes from this petroglyph I believe. However it more resembles a dog in my mind. The chalk outlines are considered desecrations and constitute a federal crime.


    Classic Traveling Trophy Mantel picture.

    Despite the chalk, the petroglyph is still awesome. Hope there is no lasting damage by the chalk. Stupid people! Grrrr!
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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Unfortunately most of the pictograph panels I visited had a few gunshots to the figures unless they were located away from nearby roads. Terrible shame. Some groups of good people work to restore some of the more famous paleo-artwork but the damage is usually irreversible. The "I was here" and "Look what I can do" crude name inscriptions over the tops of some of these works sickens me, I doubt anyone is impressed to see Jon Doe's name and date scrawled over the top of two millennia old pictographs and petroglyphs. I walked away from several damaged panels sorely disappointed in my fellow man.
    Seeking these ancient works does give me an excuse to get out and explore, sort of like geocatching or ghost-towning.
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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Upon reflection this is one rock I should have packed home for a souvenir. Now I may just have to go back and retrieve it.0fd6172d033b7fe4bea420e03e761832.jpg

    While the picture doesn't exactly capture the play of warm reflected light off the cold puddles of water seeping on the canyon bottom this remains perhaps my favorite mental image from the trip.779ba051a2c2ce573e8e8e87cc16ee5b.jpg
    elime, Gerry, goldenhtr and 3 others like this.
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    Senior Member joeband's Avatar
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    awesome collection of reports fred, thanks.
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    Senior Member plumbstraight's Avatar
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    I do believe we are going to have to get Fred to take us on a week long hop to these great places he has visited. A one or two day campout here and there to caravan to the next one.

    Thanks Fred, these places are wonderful. Too bad so many idiots can't see the beauty of them without defacing them.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    The couple of days here, couple of days there idea is my normal vacation strategy, I get to see so may pretty and interesting sights.
    Last edited by Fred; 03-27-2016 at 03:22 PM.
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