Gypsum Gap Rock Shelter

Round Trip Distance: 0.25 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5951 - 6017 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Gypsum Gap
Fee: none
Attractions: Petroglyphs

The Gypsum Gap Rockshelter is located along Highway 141 between Naturita and Dove Creek, Colorado. Archaeological evidence from the site shows signs of habitation from Archaic times, 5500 BC to 450 AD, to ancestral Puebloan times and most recently by Navajo or Ute.

The road leading to the shelter has been partially washed out but it is a simple walk of less than 100 yards to the shelter.

Archaeologists have identified 11 separate panels of rock art. The oldest of the petroglyphs have faded a great deal over time and many of the rest have been damaged by graffiti.

C. Jenkins has officially left his mark in history as a monumental dummy.

No graffiti here but very faded.

Archaeologists date this image to the Late Archaic or Basketmaker II period.

Since chalking an image is illegal we can do the next best thing and trace it on the computer. Some of the pictures seemed to also show an object that looks like a two prong horn on the left shoulder.

Quite a bit of time can be spent climbing around the nearby rocks. There are several other spots that looked like they served as shelters.

For the rockhounds there is also some very nice looking agate in the area.

The Gypsum Gap Rockshelter probably isn't the type of place that you would drive hundreds of miles to see but it is within a hundred yards or so of the highway for anyone that does happen to be driving by and it does add some important facts to the study of the ancient inhabitants of the Colorado Plateau. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.