Captured in Stone
Photographer: Kurt Repanshek
What were the artists behind these incredible, greater-than-life-size images trying to say? What messages were they sending? Were they just doodling during a camp, or were the artists shamans trying to communicate with another people, another world?
You've got to work a bit to stand before these images, which some believe are 7,000 years old. Located in the Horseshoe Canyon annex to Canyonlands National Park, they are found along a dusty draw. But before you reach the trailhead, which lies on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property, you need to travel along 30 miles of graded dirt road -- which can be covered in sand on occasion -- from Utah Highway 24. Or you can travel along 47 miles of dirt road south from Green River, Utah. Either way, it can be a tooth-rattling drive. Driving time is roughly 2.5 hours from Moab or 1.5 hours from Green River.
From the west rim trailhead, the hike to the Great Gallery is 6.5 miles round-trip, descending 750 feet and requiring about six hours. Pets are prohibited below the rim of Horseshoe Canyon. Oh, and don't forget to bring plenty of water. You can get awfully parched on this trek, but the payoff is worth the effort.On the Web: www.nps.gov/cany