Coyote Places the Stars

Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6009 - 6038 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 15 mins.
Trailhead: Coyote Places the Stars
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

The Coyote Places the Stars site is located in the Nine Mile Area northeast of Wellington, Utah. From a viewing area along the Nine Mile Canyon Road visitors can use a spotting tube to find the very interesting panel of Coyote Placing the Stars that itself is high up on the cliffs above the road. Coyote is an important character in many Native American traditions. At this site Coyote in his creator role is seen placing fields of stars up in the sky.

If you are coming from Wellington the First Site is at mile marker 26.2 of the Nine Mile Canyon Road. The Coyote Placing the Stars viewing area is 7.1 miles past that or near what would be mile marker 33.3. The parking area is on the right immediately after the intersection for the Harmon Canyon Road.

The viewing tubes are inconspicuous enough that many people that we saw stop at the pull out would look around without being able to figure out what was what before leaving without ever seeing anything.

The viewing tubes make it easy to figure out exactly where on the cliffs high above the road to find the petroglyphs. They are far enough away that even with a 600mm telephoto lens its hard to get a great photo. Notice the square patterns of stars immediately surrounding Coyote and on other nearby surfaces both to the left and to the right.

There are a lot of other petroglyphs directly across the road that are done low enough to easily get a close up look.

Some of the best petroglyphs are stretched out along the second bench above the road. Most of the images in this photo appear to be Ute in origin. With the buffalo, bighorn sheep and bow and arrow the the main theme is easy to surmise.

Necktie Man?

Some sort of chemical erosion is taking a toll on this boulder that is a little higher up.

To the left of Coyote are more petroglyphs that can't be seen from the viewing tubes.

They consist of another field of stars and a few other images.

Scrambling up the side of the hill for a closer look isn't very helpful as the closer you get to the panel the more of Coyote Placing the Stars is blocked by the ledge that it sits on.

Most of the time when a person looks at petroglyphs they are left wondering what message they were meant to convey. Every once in a while you can come across something like the Coyote Placing the Stars panel where an interpretation is already given. That enlightenment allows visitors to get more out of the site which tends to add to its appreciation. There are more petroglyphs and pictographs another few hundred feet down the road at what we call the 4 Kings Pictographs. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.