In The Desert
Cookie Cutter Petroglyphs
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The map to the right is centered on the cliff face where the Anasazi people had their encampment and where the petroglyphs are located. You can zoom out to find Rt. 59 near Apple Valley, and Colorado City.
Have fun --------
This area is near Apple Valley, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona in the desert just off of Rt. 59. This is a view of the cliff face where the petroglyphs are carved into the rock. There is no way to drive to them, except with an ATV or similar off-road transportation. As you can see here it is surrounded by deep canyons where water from heavy rains has eroded the flat areas.
This is the view you get when you drive up on top of the mesa, to the cliff. The trail shown here is an ATV or Rhino trail leading to the petroglyphs. On top of the mesa near the edge we found a few scattered pottery sherds and what was left of rock enclosures for a small encampment. This area has been devastated to the point that it's hard to recognize it as an encampment of any kind.
Getting down off the mesa on the East side wasn't too much of a challenge, but there were a few places that were a little tight. This is a very rocky area so you have to use some care climbing down the rocks. The first part of the trip off the mesa has no trail you can follow, you just have to find the best way to the bottom.
Once you get to the bottom and start around toward the South side of the mesa you'll see animal trails that you can follow. Note: you'll also see why you can't drive to the cliff face from this side. These canyons were very deep with steep sides.
We would have never guessed that the petroglyphs were here if it wasn't for our gracious guide, Jerry. Jerry is a hiking fanatic and has hiked in many areas of Southwest Utah, Arizona, and Nevada that even explorers have probably never seen. He is constantly on the go. Here, he's waiting for us, and I could tell he was not used to our slow pace. Jerry is a great guy, and has shown, or told us, about a lot of different places in the area.
This is the first look at the petroglyphs coming around the South side of the mesa. This area is near Short Creek. Even if you stand back 100 yards, you wouldn't know they were there unless you knew what to look for. Just above this part of cliff face is where we parked and where we found the encampment.
This is by far one of the strangest markings on the cliff face. What does it mean? If anyone has an idea or would like to chance a guess, E-mail us. This one has always puzzled me. It could be a representation of the mesa, but what does the round circle represent? If you know please let our viewers know by contacting us.
Here's another interesting segment of the petroglyphs. You can tell that people were involved here, as well as a coyote (or fox) a mountain lion, some bighorn sheep. One here that's always puzzled me is in the lower left. It's a person holding the tail of an animal, and if this is correct, then what kind of animal would that be? It seems awfully large when compared to the person.
This is a really large area of symbols carved into the rock. It seems to portray two or more families, with parents, kids, pets (maybe fox or coyote) and a lot of animals. I'm guessing here that this portrays the animals that they killed for survival here.
The reason for the name (Cookie Cutter) is because of the depth that they were cut into the rock face. Most are between 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch deep! Deeper than what you normally see for Anasazi petroglyphs. ENLARGEMENT
These glyph's were off to the left from the main ones on the cliff face and are not nearly as deep in the rock. Also note: it looks as though someone shot at these with a shotgun! It's hard to believe that they didn't get hit with pellets that would bounce back off the rock. I just can't imagine someone doing that!
In the surrounding canyons near this cliff face are literally 100's of caves and overhangs like these. I'm sure they used them for storage or to build their kilns for firing their pottery. This area is very close to another area we wrote up here on the site, called Little Creek Mesa. You might want to take a look at that too, and some of the other Anasazi encampments and petroglyphs in the area. At one time there were a lot of Anasazi and Basket Makers in this area.
Here is a grinding rock we found not too far away. This is where they used to grind pine nuts, and seeds to make flour and cakes to eat. For any of you that don't know this, the name Anasazi was given to us by the Navajo Indians. A lot of the ruins are on their land and to the Navajo the name Anasazi means enemy's ancestors . The Navajo's are originally from the Northwest in the British Colombia area.
Have fun ---------
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2011 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
The Basket Makers were here before the Anasazi. No one is quite sure where they originated. They are well known of course for their baskets, and not for pottery. This is an interesting subject that we might look into at a later time.
The Paiute Indians were also in this area and are still here to this day with reservations in Utah, Arizona and Nevada.
Garmin GPS topo track HERE
PLEASE don't destroy or deface the petroglyphs! You may someday want to show them to your kids or relatives.