Ivie Creek Pictographs

Round Trip Distance: 2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 7,122 -7,514 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 15 mins.
Trailhead: I-70 Exit 86
Fee: none
Attractions: Fremont pictographs

The Ivie Creek Pictographs are located just north of Interstate 70 near mile marker 86 in Sevier County, Utah. Three anthropomorphic figures, a large snake, some painted hands and a shield are the images that make up the panel that is mostly well protected from the elements by an overhanging cliff. The first published reference to the Ivie Creek pictographs was in 1853 and can be read about here starting on page 26.

 The pictographs are visible from I-70 high up on the cliff, almost due north of mile marker 86. The safest place to view them from below is to take Exit 86 and cross over to the south side of the interstate. Rather than going to the rest area follow the frontage road west and stop even with mile marker 86 where you can look back across the interstate to the north. The panel is about a half mile away at this point so a pair of binoculars is helpful.

To hike up to the pictographs you can park on the north side of the interstate and go through the gate with the no trespassing sign. The route follows Forest Road 242. We aren't sure how legitimate the locked gate is. We included the Public Lands overlay on our map at the bottom of this post and it doesn't show the private land starting until well past the panel. Rather than climb over the gate  you could hike in on the north side of the creek on Forest Road 2031 where you won't encounter any signs.

We had a map with instructions from the Forest Service that showed driving up the road to the 0.7 mile point and parking. From there you hike up the side of the mountain to the pictographs. Of course, since the gate is locked we had to either park down by Exit 86 and climb over the gate or come in on FR #2031 which is more of a jeep or ATV route. 

We recommend that before you leave the road that you follow it another hundred yards or so until you can look down at the interstate and spot mile marker 86. Once you spot that you can turn and look up the side of the hill where you can see the overhang and the pictographs. As you can see you there are some cliffs right below the panel that require you to make your approach from the right. 

There isn't a trail, or anything that even slightly resembles one, leading up the mountain so you will have to do your best to pick out a route of your own. Our GPX file shows the route that we took but that isn't to say that it was the best one. 

Once you get up to the base of the cliff at the same level as the pictographs you can start working your way west to the panel. There is nothing easy about hiking along the base of the cliff. It is all pretty much a scramble. On the bright side it is less than 1,000 feet and there are some nice views along the way.

The left side of the panel is slowly being erased by rain that splatters of the neighboring cliff. It looks like there is a gap at the top of the cliff where a piece of tin could be placed that would redirect the water and slow down the erosion but it might be about 100 years too late for that. 

Each of the anthropomorphic images has a unique face.

The different faces and body art are a few of the things that we liked most about the panel. 

The image on the right has the best detail. The long snake between the 2nd and 3rd images runs all the way from the top of the panel to the bottom. The 2 images on the left of the snake have similar ear bobbles and other features. They might represent a man and woman or husband and wife. The image to the right of the snake with what might be a pouch of spells or magic might represent a shaman or god. Notice the faint white dots that encircle the snake.

There is a sign at the site that apprises visitors of the law regarding protection of archaeological sites and warns not to do anything that would damage them in any way. There is also a sign to let you know that you are being watched and an ammo box with INFO written on it that has a visitors log inside as well as some other interesting information.

There is some more rock art along the cliff to the east of the panel that we didn't have the time to search out on this visit. Besides that there is a rock shelter right off of the interstate around mile marker 85.3 that has a few pictographs. Rather than park along the interstate you can search out the trail that runs along the creek where right before you reach the rock shelter there is another interesting panel. We would like to especially thank Carla from Boulder, Colorado for sharing the information about the Old Spanish trail and encouraging us to search out the Ivie Creek Pictographs for others to enjoy. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.