Kokopelli Site

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5878 - 5947 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Highway 139 MM 55.5
Fee: none
Attractions: pictographs




Kokopelli is a site that is in the Canyon Pintado National Historic District south of Rangely, Colorado. The site has a pretty good pictograph of the legendary Kokopelli figure as well as several other worthwhile images and scenes.


The trailhead is located along Highway 139 between mile markers 55 and 56 about 16 miles from its junction with Highway 64 on the eastern outskirts of the town of Rangely.


There is a viewing area near the roadway with a kiosk that provides information about the site and for those that are unable to make the short climb up the hill.


Visitors that are able will want to hike up the short trail to get a closer look at the images. The trail is primitive in nature with loose footing in places.


As you can see the pictographic prankster is about to lose his spot on the cliff necessitating the addition of a cable to hopefully hold him in place. There are images of the Kokopelli figure throughout the southwest with some dating back as much as 3,000 years. Kokopelli is known as a fertility god, storyteller, and a healer. It has been said that when Kokopelli visited a village that everyone would sing and dance to his flute music throughout the night and that the next morning all of the maidens would be with child.


To the left of the Kokopelli figure is a nice panel that includes a variety of figures including corn plants.


Here we outlined some of them on the computer so that they would stand out.


This image, to the right of Kokopelli, is similar to the Guardian that is at the Waving Hands site.


In some lighting it looks like the partial circle may have extended into a complete circle which would probably have represented a shield.


It is nice to find such a large Kokopelli figure that is close to a highway and relatively easy to access. They say that there are more people that drive through the Canyon Pintado National Historic District in one day than there were that ever lived here at any one time. It is interesting that so few a number of people would have left so much rock art behind. Since there are two calendar sites in Canyon Pintado and given the fact that Kokopelli was said to usher in the changing of seasons perhaps the area was a gathering place for some annual festivals and just like the bear dance would draw people from all around so to would people gather here. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.