Pictograph Fork

Hanksville, Utah

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This hike provides an opportunity to explore four intersecting canyons of the Maze, that crazy labyrinth of canyons after which the Maze District of Canyonlands was named. As a bonus, the trail also passes by the Harvest Scene, an impressive panel of ancient Indian pictographs near the mouth of Pictograph Fork. The Harvest Scene was probably painted by the Archaic People who lived in the canyons from about 6,000 B.C. until the time of Christ. They tended to live further inland from the Colorado and Green Rivers than the Anasazi and Fremont Indians who came to the area much later. Why the preferred to live so far from the rivers is a mystery, but their distinctive red, purple, orange, and gray pictographs can be found at a number of sites in the upper reaches of the dry desert canyons of Canyonlands National Park. Trail: The portion of the trail in the sandy bottom of the Maze is unmarked, but the route is not difficult to follow. The slickrock part of the trail above the Maze is marked with cairns. There is no water on this trail, so be sure to carry plenty.
Canyonlands National Park: Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Canyonlands National Park: Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails

by David Day (Rincon Publishing)

This hike provides an opportunity to explore four intersecting canyons of the Maze, that crazy labyrinth of canyons after which the Maze District of Canyonlands was named. As a bonus, the trail also passes by the Harvest Scene, an impressive panel of ancient Indian pictographs near the mouth of Pictograph Fork. The Harvest Scene was probably painted by the Archaic People who lived in the canyons from about 6,000 B.C. until the time of Christ.

They tended to live further inland from the Colorado and Green Rivers than the Anasazi and Fremont Indians who came to the area much later. Why the preferred to live so far from the rivers is a mystery, but their distinctive red, purple, orange, and gray pictographs can be found at a number of sites in the upper reaches of the dry desert canyons of Canyonlands National Park. Trail: The portion of the trail in the sandy bottom of the Maze is unmarked, but the route is not difficult to follow. The slickrock part of the trail above the Maze is marked with cairns. There is no water on this trail, so be sure to carry plenty.

©  David Day/Rincon Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Hanksville
Distance: 9.3
Elevation Gain: 1,560 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 5.5 hours
Season: Year-round, best spring and fall
Trailhead Elevation: 5,460 feet
Top Elevation: 5,460 feet
Local Contacts: Canyonlands National Park
Local Maps: USGS Spanish Bottom, Elaterite Basin
Driving Directions: Directions to Pictograph Fork

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Apr 2018