Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument
Indian Creek SRMA, BLM
Click for map.
I have been to Newspaper Rock before, but it was a rather long time ago. It was probably about the time my dad got his 4x4 pickup truck and decided the family vacation would include Canyonlands where he could take this shinny new truck over Elephant Hill and up (likely down) the Silver Staircase and out on the Island in the Sky to see the confluence. I recall that last one not having such a bad road in and there's a paved option of sorts. I also remember one road in The Maze where a little white Corolla came up out of a canyon and we got to the top and my dad hit the brakes and perched there for a bit before deciding it probably wasn't deadly and putting it in 4-low as though that would save us if it was. Then again, I seem to remember him doing something similar in the Bronco with its push button 2WD-4WH-4WL changing and feeling like a button with a light was not so settling as a proper stick. There were multiple trips to Canyonlands. At least one of them included a stop at Newspaper Rock. Still, it's just down the hill (and free to stop at) and I might not remember it in all its glorious detail. And I found a little hike to do with it. Anyway, most my pictures went missing at some point in his basement, so there are no little squares of rock art or of the brown Green River mixing with the clear Colorado. I'll probably not fix that second any time soon, but I can have a look at some rock art again. The parking and other improvements all have a distinctly BLM flavor even though this is apparently a state owned area. The kiosk is full of BLM publications and refers people to call the local BLM office if they have questions. I give the map a good glare, wondering where else I should be pausing before walking past to the trails forming behind it by people who can't seem to read because I've just committed the same sin.
|Out to experience the canyon with each layer of rock doing its own thing when exposed to weather.|
|Indian Point on the other side. The canyon isn't all that tall and it's got a bit of a bump on its lip that is where I mean to hike after.|
|There's actually a surprising number of flowers among the shrubs.|
My eclectic map suggests the rock itself is on the other side. So does the kiosk, in really big letters with three even bigger arrows since symbols sometimes help when dealing with the illiterate. Following the sidewalk to a much more developed looking trail gets me, in very short order, to a large rock surface with dark desert varnish and a whole lot of petroglyphs that have darkened again to varying amounts. It's quite busy, but not in the way I was thinking so not the one I was thinking it might be.
|Sorting through it all for feet as something to grab onto, but it turns out there are quite a lot of feet.|