Buckhorn Wash Rock Art Panel
One of the highlights of the entire San Rafael Swell is the mysterious Buckhorn Wash pictograph panel spanning over 130 feet. A pictograph is painted onto a surface, and a petroglyph is carved or pecked into the stone. There are some faint petroglyphs here, but the red pictograph figures are the stars of this site! The main panel was painted well over 2,000 years ago by a Indian culture archeologists have named “Barrier Canyon Culture”. The Barrier Canyon people were an archaic age hunter-gatherer society, living in caves or brush shelters. The red pigment was created using powdered hematite, and possibly mixed with animal fat, eggs, or some other fluid. For a brush, they may have used fingers or brushes made from animal fur or slender grasses. When painted on freshly exposed sandstone, the stone absorbs the pigments, thus preserving them for thousands of years. The images here are fascinating, and defy interpretation. It is crucial to remember that sites such as these are irreplaceable, and are considered sacred by many indigenous Americans. Treat these ancient links to the past with honor and respect. There is also a boulder here carved with the names of the same hard working CCC boys that built the swinging bridge over the San Rafael River. To drive to the panel please refer to the travel guide and map.