Petroglyphs and Pictographs . . . my favorite things!


Catstair Canyon – GSENM

So named because, before the highway was built (and blasted it open), this canyon was so narrow only a cat could navigate it. 

This was another difficult to find trail head.  Again, creeping along highway 89 with no shoulder, around blind curves, when the speed limit was 65, looking for single track dirt roads.  Julie spotted the road (I would have missed it) and we turned off.  We knew we’d have to go through a ranch gate and as I opened it, I saw the small (maybe 6” square) trail marker nailed to a fence post – that was it for trail head marking.  We made our way to a small parking area where another small sign pointed us down in to the wash for the start of the hike.  After about 1/2 mile walk, we saw the petroglyphs and pictographs and an ammo box chained to the rock (that was the visitor sign in log!).  Less than 50 visitors had signed in this year – not a surprise considering how hard it is to find some of these trailheads!.  Another 1/4 mile walk was the end of this box canyon. 

The highway is within sight (or ear-shot) for most of this short hike – but looking at the thousand year old petroglyphs make civilization feel much further away.


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