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 Cascade Bill (William Mooseker) | Home > Backpacking Trips > 2002 Backpacking Trips > 
Grand Gulch Utah 2002
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Grand Gulch Utah
March 2002

Day 1: Gov't Trail to Dripping Canyon
- Pollys Island/Big Man Panel/ Long House.
Day 2: Dripping Canyon to Bullet Canyon
- Quail Panel/ Two Story Ruin/ Totem Pole.
Day 3: Bullet Canyon to Pouroff Pool
- Green Mask Panel/ Split Level Ruin.
Day 4: Pouroff Pool to Kane Canyon junction
- Todie Canyon/ Turkey Pen Ruins
Day 5: Kane Gulch Junction to Kane G. Ranger Station

Beginning Descent into Gulch on the Gov't Trail

Click Here for 2000 Grand Gulch Trip for Additional Photos of Big Man Panel/ Quail Panel/ Two Story Ruin

Troop 24 "The High Adventure Troop" Backpacking Trip
-Cascade Bill Mooseker

Date(s): March 2002. Album by Cascade Bill. Photos by WHM. 1 - 135 of 135 Total. 2964 Visits.
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Breaking Camp -
We got to the Gov't Trail trailhead late in the day, but early enough to consider starting out on the trail rather than camping at the trailhead.  The well defined trail petered out just as the light faded so that we couldn't see the cairns to go on, so we pitched our tents on the mesa top where dark found us.  I found a nice sandy spot to pitch my tent. Later that night we had a bunch of rain and snow and I found out why my nice sandy spot existed - it was a puddle and my tent bottom became a water bed.  Fortunately, Roger had pitched his tent on a slightly higher spot so I transferred my bag to his tent for the remainder of the night.

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Steve and Braxton taking down their tent - Roger to right.  You can see the pools of water left in the depressions from the previous night's snow and rain.

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Dan and Braxton - Although the sun was out, the morning air was quite chilly.

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Starting out - with the morning sun we could see our route clearly (see cairn at right foreground).

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At the lip of the canyon, we could see ruins high up on Polly's Island across the gulch.  We speculated as to how they ever got up there.

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Polly's Island acorss the Gulch (at left) from the canyon rim before the Gov't Trail makes its descent.  The canyon at the center is the rincon around Polly's Island.

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Roger, Shelby and Steve heading down the Gov't trail at the canyon rim.

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Braxton and Dan (lower left) and Fred (center right) on the Gov't trail making it's way down into the Gulch.

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Steve on trail down to Gulch - Canyon at upper center is man Gulch.  Polly's canyon come into the Gulch at right behind canyon wall at right.

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Unnamed site near Polly's Island.

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Fred, Dan, Braxton, and Steve - shooting the Bull near Polly's Island.

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Faint petroglyphs near Polly's Island (enlarge picture to view)

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Heading back to the Gulch from rincon canyon around Polly's Island.

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A small granary up canyon from Polly's Canyon.

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Going up the Wash above Polly's Canyon - there are few bench trails from Polly's Canyon to Step Canyon so most of the time you are in the wash.  Here the wet sand is pretty good footing but a lot of places have soft sand or fist sized cobbles that make for rougher going.

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Famous Big Man Panel Pictograph - located on the right side (east) going up canyon quite a ways from Polly's Canyon.  Look for trails going up the hill as the panel is not visible from the wash. - For more Big man photos see 2000 trip:

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More Big Man

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Fred - Natural Arch (noted on topo map)  we missed this on our trip down canyon in 2000.  Easy to spot going up Canyon.

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Pictogaphs on alcove near Natural Arch.  These are pretty exposed and have faded somewhat.

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Pictograph details.

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Pictograph details.

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These large figures in yellow have faded quite a bit.  Their color is unusual.

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Ruin near pictograph panel - note that a larger structure was to the right (carbon on walls from smoke) built in the stick plus mud method that was not as durable as the rock and mud mortar method.

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Another view of Granary and ledge - note hiking stick at left for scale.

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Pictograph Panel at Long House.

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Hand prints at Long House.

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Long house is situated in a large ovehanging alcove located on a bench above the wash.  The bench would have provided a good place to grow crops.

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Looking down at the crew in the wash (L-R: Steve, Roger, Danny, Fred, Shelby, and Braxton) from the bench at Long House

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Long House- from the bench.

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Pictograph of Turkeys - along wash above Long House.

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Numerous handprints along ledge above wash just adjacent to turkey pictographs.

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Wash has undercut the walls here - you could see branchse and other debris wedged into the ceiling of the overhang.  It made you glad that you wouldn't be here if there were a flash flood.

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Fred following the trail crossing a bench - steep up and down.

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Going up the wash.

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View from another bench - this is close to Step Canyon.

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Fiogure from the Quail panel (Step Canyon).

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More figures from the Quail Panel.

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Quail Panel Figures - note figure holding staff.

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More figures - note stylized headresses on the two yellow figures.  A lot of color in this panel.

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The Quail for which the panel is named.

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A lot of faded figures here.

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More details.

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Shaman's mask - at far end of the Quail panel this pictograph is the most unusual figure of all.  The panel is in a large alcove with no ruins.

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Shelby in small cave in Step Canyon.

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Ruins in small cave.

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Ceiling details at small cave.

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View looking up Step Canyon from small cave.

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View of Two Story Ruin from wash.  The cliff here is impressive.

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View of Two Story ruin from ledge - note defensive wall in foreground.  T.S. ruin is back further along the ledge.  You can see the entrance of Step Canyon beyond.

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View of defensive wall - you either have to go over it or thru the door which could easilly be blocked up. A long drop awaits one who would try to go around the wall to the left.

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Pictographs at Two Story Ruin.

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More pictographs at Two Story Ruin.

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Two Story Ruin.

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The Totem Pole Hoodoo - and Fred!

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Fred - Just a ways below the Bullet Canyon/ Grand Gulch confluence you go over a large bench with good views.

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There is a small granary across the canyon (in shadow - use original size to see).  It would have been quite an effort to reach this structure.

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View looking up Grand Gulch at the mouth of Bullet Canyon (to right).  The camp spots usually fill up.

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Ruin in Grand Gulch above Bullet Canyon.  There is an upper level that is reached by going up a chimney (Shelby is making his way up in this photo).

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Cascade Bill, Fred and Roger at ruin.  I made it up to here with a lot of effort ( and trepidation) but passed on the slot chimney up to the upper level.  In my youth, I always wanted to be Roy Rogers or Gene Autry but instead I turned into Gabby Hahes!

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Roger.  Shelby and unidentified hiker at upper level of ruin.

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Danny, Roger, and Shelby: Just below the junction of Shieks Canyon there is a series of Slickrock steps and pools - a very scenic part of the canyon.

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View of very interesting pictograph that is part of the Green Mask Panel complex.  There is some info in an ammo box here that states that the heads of the figures have faded away over time but it looked to me that there wasn't anything there.

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Adjacent figures on panel

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Very interesting figure showing childbirth - note no heads again.

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Ruin adjacent to panel shows these circular patterns placed on top of a blackened rock face (Shelby at right)

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Very old pictographs far above existing floor - looks like a portion of the wall or ledge has collapsed.

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More figures - note headresses and more turkeys/birds. (This was the last picture on the roll and I hadn't brought another - left my pack down at the junction of Shieks ) so I didn't get a photo of the Green Mask, which is impressive but high up and far away requiring a telephoto lens to get a good photo anyway.

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I thought this might be another ruin, but I'm not so sure - in some places the rock breaks apart so that it appears as if it were a built up wall.

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We met this family - Ron Morrow (editor and publisher of the Climbing Art) as they were taking a break.

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Desert Varnish on the canyon walls.

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The canyon twists and turns and is very scenic in this stretch.

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We had lunch under this large alcove and found these stylized handprints.

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More canyon walls.

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We found an alcove with several ruins.

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Roger and Shelby exploring ruins.

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View of ruin.

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View of Split Level Ruin from trail.

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Split Level Ruin - This multi level ruin is very fragile and has been roped off, but you can get quite close as this photo illustrates.

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Another view of Split Level Ruin.

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Inaccessible Ruins on ledge in cliff above the Split Level Ruin.

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Upper end of the Split Level alcove - note stakes marking roped off area.

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Very dramatic view of Split Level Ruin.

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Note combination of rock wall with mud applied to sticks method of construction here.

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Notice roof construction here - you can see why they don't want a bunch of people walking all over it.

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Ruin below the Pouroff Pool - I don't know how Shelby got up there but he did.

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Hoodoo - between Pouroff Pool and Todie Canyon.

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Ruins high up on Todie Canyon walls.

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Roger and Shelby - near spring in Todie Canyon.  See Ruins on ledge above.

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Cascade Bill at Todie Canyon ruin.

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Todie Canyon ruin.

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Canyon Wall at Todie Canyon.

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Ruins in lower Todie Canyon.

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Looking up Todie Canyon.

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Petroglyph Panel in Todie Canyon.

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Details of Petroglyph Panel in Todie Canyon.

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Details of Petroglyph Panel in Todie Canyon.

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Details of Petroglyph Panel in Todie Canyon.

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Details of Petroglyph Panel in Todie Canyon.  Note birdlike head of stick figure - compare to Quail Panel figures.

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Details of Petroglyph Panel in Todie Canyon: Bearpaw?  Snake or river?

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Ledge- Todie Canyon : note possible remains of structure in foreground.

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More Petroglyphs.

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Another Petroglyph.

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More circular spirals.

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Ruin in Gulch above Todie Canyon.

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Another ruin - Fred and Braxton.

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Very Extensive ruins and petroglyphs in this alcove - Fred, Roger, and Shelby.

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Collapsed roof.

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Petroglyph with abstract figures and designs.

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More Figures.

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Very nice design

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Note that figures are carved into the rock and then the grooves are painted.

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More designs.

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Another view of the ruins in this alcove.

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Fred at Natural Arch near Turkey Pen Ruin.

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Cascade Bill - natural arch.

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Guys along trail - upper level of Turkey Pen Ruin is visible above.

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Lower level of Turkey Pen ruin.

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Fred investigating ruins at Turkey Pen - note difference in construction, and fire blackend wall at left showing where another structure has collapsed or been destroyed.

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Figures at Turkey Pen Ruin.  Note how different these are from the previous panel at the alcove just down canyon.

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The Turkey Pen - Fred.

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Looking back to the lower levels of Turkey Pen - This alcove is on a ramp that climbs steadily up.

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Looking at the end of the lower ramp.  The upper level is reached by going up through and opening in the wall where the logs are sticking up at right.  (You could go up to the upper level in 2002 but this was closed in 2005).  Also note log bridge to support wall.

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Fred looking a grinding stone (metate) at Turkey Pen.

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Close up of constructed bridge to support wall and floor of ledge - yucca ropes appear to be still in good condition after all these years.

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Junction Ruins - we spent our last night at the junction of Kane Gulch canyon.  The Junction ruins  are quite extensive.  The accessible portions show a lot of wear and tear as well as poorly executed attempts to patch up the ruins.

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Kiva showing central support beam - the roof has been completely removed here, but the extensive structure is revealed.  Note the fire blackened sides.  I don't think an asthmatic Anazazi would have lasted long.

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Junction Ruins.

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Well preserved granary.

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Handprints at Junction Ruin.

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Another view of Kiva ruin.

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There are two Kivas here - in this one the central log has been sawed off an left in the pit.

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Metate at Junction ruin.

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More Junction Ruins.

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