Daddy Canyon Complex

Round Trip Distance: 1.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5469 - 5512 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr. 15 mins.
Trailhead: Daddy Canyon Complex
Fee: none
Attractions: Petroglyphs, pictographs

The Daddy Canyon Complex is in the Nine Mile Canyon National Backcountry Byway near Wellington, Utah. The area has an extensive collection of Fremont and Ute petroglyphs, pictographs and other sites including pithouses, granaries and rock shelters. While the canyon is promoted as "the worlds longest art gallery" the stunning scenery that encompasses the area comes as an added bonus to the canyons visitors.

The Exploring Nine Mile Canyon brochure, that can sometimes be obtained at Walker's Chevron in Wellington, has the trailhead at mile marker 43.8 but you might find that to be off by about a half mile so be prepared for a little discrepancy. Also, Google Maps may try to route you along the unpaved Dry Creek Road. If it does then drag the route to the 9 Mile Canyon Road instead. There is a big sign for Nine Mile Canyon just east of Walker's Chevron at the correct turnoff from Highway 191. If you haven't been to the area in a few years you will be pleasantly surprised to find the road is now paved.

The trailhead is near the confluence of Dry Fork and Nine Mile canyons. The trail starts out hard packed and wheelchair accessible for a short distance before it becomes a more primitive hiking only trail.

There are several fine panels in and around the corrals near the trailhead.

Buffalo are a common theme in Nine Mile Canyon.

The trail never enters too far into the mouth of the side canyon before it crosses the shallow wash to the east side of the canyon where there are many more panels.

There are a lot of minor panels scattered about on the east side of the wash. This is a shot of one of the more interesting ones.

Another is a pictograph panel of what looks like a red buffalo and a green elk or deer.

Continue following the trail as it bends around the cliff back near the road.

There you will find one panel after another on the south facing surfaces above the road.

This panel was very interesting but portions of it are quite faded so we traced a few of the images on our computer to make them stand out.

Others like this one, that may be all Ute in origin, stand out very well. There may also be some older more faded images.

After completing the loop there is a short section of dirt road to the west of the parking area where there are some significant panels of both pictographs and petroglyphs. Many people get back in their cars and drive through this area and probably miss most of the rock art some of which is up to 50 feet above the road.

It is hard to look at this panel without being reminded that they remove children from abusive parents and animals from abusive owners. Everything about this has an air of criminality whether it is private land or not. And no you can't give the vandal credit for spelling 5 out of 6 words correctly.

There are enough major sites in Nine Mile Canyon that it is hard to spend enough time at each of them in one short day. The only camping or lodging in the canyon is at the Nine Mile Ranch Bunk N Breakfast. They have 18 campsites with restrooms and showers as well as 4 cabins and 4 rooms in their Bed and Breakfast. Checkout their website for pricing and reservations and to see what else they have to offer. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.