As I awoke at Crystal Geyser and enjoyed my morning cup of coffee, I packed up camp and moved out to view the pictographs at Sego Canyon. Taking the Thompson Springs exit on I-70 and headed through town, around a bend, and down a road headed straight into the mountains to the north, I felt the excitement to see these pictographs that were a couple hundred years old. Venturing past the “No Trespassing” signs I could see a pull-off just up ahead.
The air was cool and the canyon walls were glowing in the morning light. As I approached the first wall I was amazed how the figures came to life and appeared right in front of me as I sit dumbfounded staring at this rock wall. At first glance you can see the more pronounced figures, and then as your eyes adjust to the light, the other figures begin to show themselves. I never get tired of seeing these rock art images, and though I have seen several other pictograph and petroglyph sites, I am still a child in awe at these images.
After a few moments I began to examine this place as a whole and take in the area around the rock art. I often ask myself questions about why this place was chosen, and what else might be in the area that would make such a site worthy. In Sego Canyon it isn’t difficult to see as there are several springs, and even a hidden waterfall tucked in to the folds of the canyon. I have noticed that most of these places offer more than what appears on the surface.Whether the motivation was physical or spiritual these sites are extraordinary and sometimes these reasons are lost with the passage of time, and geography.
Trekking up the canyon past this site I notice a sleuth of other rock art. Some of these pictographs have been desecrated or have been altered through time by other visitors that made a point to leave their mark on these sacred sites. Sego Canyon is not really under the watchful eye of the Forest Service, as even modern vandalism is apparent, and thus the site seems to lose some of its historical significance.
Continuing up the canyon there is an abandoned settlement called Sego Canyon. A once small township now lay in decay, nestled into the countryside with a diminishing appeal. There are a few brick structures remaining and a crumbled wooden structure that once housed a brothel. I wonder if the attraction was located near a whistle-stop from the railroad that ran near I-70. I can imagine back in the time when the brothel would have served many passing travellers on their way to Salt Lake City or California would make a point to stop at this little town. Perhaps through word of mouth or a small ad in a dime novel, this little town sprung around this attraction.
Outside the town I discovered a small cemetery. Some of the markers were not dated so it was difficult to determine the age of this cemetery. There were some more modern markers indicating that this cemetary has been used more recently.
Sego Canyon is definitely something that history forgot about. I found it very interesting and spent some time wandering through the brush around the town and found myself curious about what the day-to-day activities would have looked like.
Tossing my camera back in my truck and pulling myself into the drivers seat, I began to plan my next stop while fanning through one of the guide books I picked up at a truck stop in Green River.
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