On Sunday morning we needed to head back to Salt Lake, but weren’t in any kind of hurry. I had a list of things I wanted to hit before we even began driving north and all of them involved Bears Ears National Monument. Though we had traversed through a section of the monument on our way to the Needles District of Canyonlands NP, we hadn’t visited the heart of the monument. I had three fairly brief stops pegged for this trip, solely as an introduction. I hope we have the chance to explore more.
In the morning after we packed up, we drove over to the Sand Island Petroglyph Panel. Located less than five miles from Bluff inside a BLM campground, it’s very accessible. There are two panels within the area, an upper and lower; we visited only the lower panel.
The panel spans 100 yards and contains art dating back 3,000 years. There are markings as recent as the 19th century, but the majority of the panel dates back to between 2,500-800 years ago. The panel is impressive with hundreds of figures clustered together near the lower portions of the wall. You could easily spend an hour or more examining the depictions.
We admired the panel for about a half hour before Truman decided it was time to leave if we weren’t hiking. Then it was on to our next stop.