Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Guided Pictograph Hike at Seminole Canyon SP

The Maker of Peace-02
The Maker of Peace

Before the hike started, I spent some time on the back patio of the visitor center to enjoy my morning cup of coffee.This is the gathering point for the hike, so it was also an opportunity to meet some of the other hikers before the ranger arrived to lead us down into the canyon.

Canyon View-02At the top of the trail, the park ranger stopped at the bronze sculpture called “The Maker of Peace”.  The artist was inspired by the cave paintings that he came across while seeking shelter from a thunderstorm that came up while he was canoeing on the river that used to flow through the canyon.

A little further along, the park ranger stopped to explain how the Native Americans used one particular plant, a type of agave, to make both textile goods, sandals, spears for hunting game, and more.

TidepoolsFrom here, the hike headed down the bottom of the canyon.  The river has pretty much dried up, with only a few “tide pools” remaining.  One thing that was difficult to miss on this trip is just how hard the droughts have hit the western states over the past years.  Low (or even no) water levels in places that were historically very deep bodies of water seem to be the new normal.

Cave Paintings-03aHeading south and west from the steps to the bottom of the canyon, we came to the first of the two shelters that we were going to visit.  This was the Fate Bell Annex.  Of the pictographs in this shelter, this one struck me as the most intriguing.  When compared to the placard that helped show the details more clearly, it looked like an illustration of a tribe hunting something.  This was kind of in-keeping with the pictograph that was next to it that looked like the tribe was catching a fish in the river.  It’s too bad that the experts didn’t include an interpretation of what these images are really supposed to have represented.

Cave Paintings-01aAlso in this shelter there was some graffiti from the  1800’s when the railroad was being built through this area.  Mr. Elindfield and Mr. Maynard have definitely left their mark on history and their names are now protected along with the prehistoric pictures that adorn these two shelters.  It is worth noting that their penmanship is amazing.

Cave Paintings-12aA little further along down the canyon, we came to the Fate Bell Shelter, the second of the two.  This one was just as interesting as the first, and some of the pictographs were even more clear (or less eroded).   Many  of the paintings show what must be people in ceremonial garb… or maybe they’re showing us what the ancient aliens who visited must have looked like.

This was an excellent tour.  It was less than two miles long and took less than two hours, so I got to see a lot in a short amount of time. 

More Photos

The Maker of Peace-01 Prehistoric Shelter-01 Prehistoric Shelter-02
Prehistoric Shelter-03 Cave Paintings-01 Cave Paintings-02
Cave Paintings-02a Cave Paintings-03 Placard-01
Placard-02 Canyon View-01 View from shelter
Cave Paintings-05 Cave Paintings-06 Cave Paintings-07
Cave Paintings-08 Placard-03 Cave Paintings-09
Cave Paintings-09a Cave Paintings-10 Cave Paintings-11
Placard-04 Cave Paintings-12 Andy on Guided Hike-01
Start of Windmill Trail Windmill Remains-02 Wildflower-sunburst

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