Friday, July 1, 2016

Utah: McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

Ed and I are in Vernal, Utah, for a weekend getaway. At the outset, Vernal, in northeastern Utah, doesn't sound especially exciting, but I haven't done much traveling throughout Utah, and I haven't been east of Park City. Vernal is about three hours of where we live, just south of Salt Lake City, and it took us a little more than that to get there: We made a few stops, and we also drove through about an hour's worth of driving rain (rare for Utah).

We were a bit tired from the drive, but we wanted to do something, so we decided to find some of the local petroglyphs. The McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs were about 10 miles north, in Dry Fork Canyon. It was difficult for me to climb up to see the petroglyphs, some of which include figures that represent the Fremont culture, which flourished in this area from about 1-1200 A.D. (The Fremont culture is a pre-Columbian archaeological culture which received its name from the Fremont River in Utah, where the first Fremont sites were discovered. The Fremont River itself is named for John Charles Frémont, a 19th century American explorer.)

From Vernal, Utah

The rock formations in the area are quite striking - much different than what I'm used to.

From Vernal, Utah

From Vernal, Utah

We didn't spend much time exploring - the climb was difficult for the likes of us - so we really only saw a very small sample of the petroglyphs before heading back to our hotel to clean up before having dinner at the Vernal Brewing Company. Tomorrow we plan to hit Dinosaur National Monument and perhaps the Utah Field House of Natural History.

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