Pictograph Stop in Temple Wash, southern Utah

Just outside Goblin Valley is a canyon called Temple Wash that has pictographs; the site is significant because it contains pictographs of 2 different  styles, Fremont and Barrier Canyon style. This also means people were painting the panels at 2 different times. Fremont style is estimated to be 800 – 1,400 years ago, and Barrier Canyon is estimated to be 1,500 – 8,000 years ago. It is thought that the creators from different cultures could have existed at the same time. Also the figures in the panel are quite tall, and it’s guessed they were meant to be seen from a distance.


Here you can see the dark red pictographs at the bottom of the cliff face. Even though I was quite far away (there is a wooden fence to keep people away) I could still see the images were quite detailed. We also brought a pair of binoculars, so we could see the images more clearly.


You can see on the left is a human figure with horns. To the right is a dog figure, a “medicine man” figure holding snakes, and several other human figures. There is a lot of damage due to the rock shearing off the cliff face. There was also severe vandalism around 2000, but it looks like the state cleaned that off.


Across from the panel is part of the San Rafael Swell. In this area the earth has been pushed up and is pretty rough, and you can see the geological layers distinctly.


Selfie with the pictograph panel behind me!