. . . . . .
SouthwestUS logo
Photo of Southwestern USA
Info | Destinations | Photos | Resources | Home

See more photos

9 Mile Canyon
Nine Mile Canyon is considered by many to be the world's longest art gallery. It contains a substantial number of rock art sites. The area appears to have been an ancient thoroughfare. Today it is a backcountry byway.

The name is misleading since the canyon is over 40 miles in length. There are several stories as to how the canyon got its name. According to one story, 9 mile canyon received its name from a government surveyor who left his ninth mile marker at the canyon's mouth. Another story states a topographer who was with the Powell expedition did a 9 mile triangulation and called it 9 mile creek.

The rock art consists primarily of petroglyphs (designs cut into rock) and pictographs (painted on designs). Most are petroglyphs, and many of these are of the Northern San Rafael Style. They tend to be rougher and not as well crafted as some of the other styles which are also present. Many of the nicer petroglyphs and pictographs are Fremont and Ute. A number of the petroglyphs depict animals and hunting scenes, while other petroglyphs are anyone's guess as to what they could represent. Some of the more famous panels and locations include the hunting scene, and Rasmussen's Cave, where artifacts and mummies were excavated.

9 Mile Canyon contains many rock art panels, but it also contains a coal mine, cowboy and ranching structures, and prehistoric structures.

Please respect private property and do not trespass. There are many sites which are not on private land. A number of rock art sites are fairly close to the road or within a short walking distance. They are not difficult to find. These sites are protected by the antiquities act of 1979. Please do not remove artifacts from the sites.

It is recommended that at least 1/2 a day be dedicated to touring the canyon.

Location: The canyon cuts through the Book cliffs and a portion of the Tavaputs plateau. It is a National Byway. To reach it, follow highway 6/191 to Wellington, Utah. Follow 6/191 east for approximately three miles to Soldier Creek Road. There is a Chevron station at the intersection. It should be signed. Follow the road for 12-13 miles until the pavement ends at or near the coal mine. From here the road is dirt. Continue on to Minnie Maude Creek. It is roughly 21-22 miles from US 6/191 The petroglyphs will begin to appear about five to eight miles from here. They seem to get better the farther in you go.


Please note that all the images are copyrighted and you may not copy them
for any purpose without getting consent.

General Information | Resources | Destinations | Photos | Contact SouthwestUS | Home
©2009 SouthwestUS.com. All rights reserved. No images may be copied or reproduced in any form without written permission.