9 Mile Canyon Balance Rock

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6103 - 6127 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 15 mins.
Trailhead: Balanced Rock
Fee: none
Attractions: Petroglyphs, granary




View Balance Rock Site in a larger map

Balance Rock is the second petroglyph site in Nine Mile Canyon northeast of Wellington, Utah. Nine Mile Canyon is actually part of a 70 mile Backcountry Byway which should make it obvious that it didn't get its name from its length. It is believed the name came from  the fact that the cartographer that accompanied John Wesley Powell on his 1869 expedition of the Green River used a nine mile transect for mapping the canyon. Transect maps depict geographic features through an area along a line or transect.


The Balance Rock trailhead is 32 miles from the turnoff on Highway 191 at Walker's Chevron or 6 miles past the First Site.


The petroglyphs are across the road from the pullout on a blind curve.


For some reason we were half expecting to find petroglyphs on Balance Rock itself but that doesn't appear to be the case.


There is a very nice panel down near the ground and if you hike around to the other side there are even more.


A very old trail that probably dates back to the time these panels were created leads to more petroglyphs to the east of Balance Rock.


This should be called the cartoon panel because that is exactly where the image on the right looks like it belongs.


Each panel seems to have a particular message to convey. The figure on the left has been called "The Juggler" and Balloon Man" but it has also been proposed by a Pueblo Indian expert that it may represent "Spider Woman" who according to many Native American beliefs was the creator of all things.


No sooner did we get back into our car and begin driving away did we begin noticing more panels on the cliffs and boulders along the road. The shoulder of the road doesn't leave a lot of room to pull over to take more pictures yet alone to park and hike up for closer inspection of some of the panels. We are planning a return trip to see if there is an old trail that might lead along the section of the cliff where most of the panels are located. Some of the panels are very unique when you compare them to each other and that makes it hard to ignore them.


This panel is so large it is hard to get the whole thing in one picture and still show any detail.


From a distance it looked a little like a Menorah but a little quick counting eliminated that idea.


This is a look at some of the scenery that you can expect in Nine Mile Canyon. Isn't it interesting to suppose that there may have been more people living in the canyon thousands of years ago than there are today.


As you drive from the Balance Rock site to the Daddy Canyon Complex you will pass a granary that is about 15-20 feet above the road. The Explore Nine Mile Canyon brochure has the location at milepost 38.8 but it might actually be a little further than that. That is if this is the same granary that the brochure is referring to. Balance Rock marks the beginning of a long series of panels that decorate the canyon walls in the area. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.