Home > Traveling > Hiking, rafting and history

Hiking, rafting and history

About a 1/2 hour drive from our campsite is McKee Springs, yet another great petroglyph (Fremont indian rock etching) site.  Obviously, the Fremont Indians were quite the artists as you can find lots and lots of artwork.  So off we went to explore this, and some other sites in the area.  Our new car got a great introduction to off pavement driving!

Most of the road to McKee Springs is gravel

But once there you will find some of excellent Fremont artwork

A second panel of artwork

But the Petroglyphs had to share top billing with a spectacular flowering cactus

A short ways down the road from McKee Springs is Rainbow Park.  This is a smallish campsite and is used primarily by rafters, who put in here for a day trip down the Green River.  It may look peaceful here, but there are class 3 and 4 rapids just around the bend…

A great early morning view. But don't let the image fool you, that water is moving, and fast. That surface is deceiving!

Rafters, getting ready for their adventure

And they're on the way

Once around the bend in the distance they will be in some major rapids

About 5 miles further down the road is the now abandoned Ruple Ranch.  This area was homesteaded in the mid 1800’s by the Ruple family, who eventually sold this property to the National Park Service where it is now part of Dinosaur National Monument.  This is the back side of Split Mountain, where we are camped.

The road in ends up as a rutted wagon trail, and although we have 4 wheel drive we sure didn’t have the clearance to go much further so we parked and walked the last mile to the trail.  It is an easy trail, although very rough as it isn’t used much and most of it is in a sandy wash literred with rocks.

This is as far as we got. Yes, we have 4 wheel drive, but not the required high clearance needed to traverse this old farm road.

Some of the old (but not original) buildings of Ruple Ranch

Once out of the car we hiked up the wash.

A really strange desert plant. Only saw one of these. The tall "stem" was way out of proportion to the leaves below.

All in all an interesting day.  Some nice hiking, some history, some scenery, and great weather.

Categories: Traveling Tags: , , ,
  1. Roland
    June 1, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Enjoyed the travel log. Thanks for sharing.


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