Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The stories of Sego

After two flights and a layover in Denver, Colorado, I landed in Salt Lake City later in the morning.  

My backpacking pack and rental car keys in hand, I quickly set out. The pure goal of this trip is to spend ten days visiting every National Park in Utah and as many other marker federal lands as possible. On the road, on approach towards the Moab area in the eastern part of the state where places like Sego Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park and Arches National Park are located. 
If you're heading down I-70 on the way to Arches National Park, stop at Sego Canyon off exit 187; an eerie, remote canyon area on BLM land (Bureau of Land Management). Thanks to the folks at Lonely Planet for recommending this. Mining took place here up until the 1950s and some abandoned structures still stand deeper in the canyon, fading away in the sun. The art on the canyon's walls come from Native American Ute, Fremont, and archaic Barrier tribes dating back thousands of years ago. There are both pictographs (painted pictures or figurines) and petroglyphs (etched or chiseled into the rock). 
What makes some of the art eerie? Take an up-close look at the Barrier tribe's pictographs and you'll see almost life-size like red paintings of mysterious figurines with bold horns, big empty eyes, and no limbs whatsoever. Pair these with just how silent this desolate Utah canyon is and you'll get a few goosebumps. There's a clean, pit toilet located inside the canyon after following a dirt road about ten minutes off the main highway. To explore farther into the canyon I'd recommend using a four-wheel-drive vehicle or one with decent ground clearance.