Blazing west on I-70 with the truck windows down, the sun overhead, passed Black Dragon Canyon, and through a small pass, on my way to the next site. I make time arriving about 20 miles west of the town of Green River, and turn onto a frontage road leading into Buckhorn Canyon.
The land is desolate, empty of trees and lush shrubbery. The rocks open up in areas revealing scrub brush and small stands of Alders, and occasional willows with yucca along with “jesus” bushes dot the landscape. I carefully navigate the dusty path leading away from the hardball, and heading north into the wilderness.
The truck is gripping the rough road avoiding the occasional jagged rock or hole, and follows the meandering road. Lots of rock formations paint the landscape reminding me of those old western films I used to watch on Saturdays growing up.
The terrain slowly changes as the truck winds through the canyon road, turning rocks and leaving a dust cloud. The canyon walls grow into the sky as we enter through the spires and pass over the San Juan river bridge. We are surrounded by sheer walls towering over as we navigate through each bend.
Finally, the truck and I reach a huge rock panel where the pictographs are displayed. This area is better maintained and there is a fence up to keep visitors back from the wall and there are information panels that explain some of the historical significance’s of the area and pictographs.
The figures in these pictographs are much more pronounced. Rumor has it that these suffered lots of damage from graffiti artists and under went an extensive restoration project by the Forest Service. The site is now well maintained and is enjoyed by hundreds of folks each year.
The surrounding area did not reveal much of anything interesting other than a steady and reliable source of water as the San Juan river cuts through this canyon. I settled in to this area and spent time photographing and pondering it’s significance.