Paxton Corral Site

Round Trip Distance: 0.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5091 - 5114 feet
Cellphone: 0-2 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Paxton Corral
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

The Paxton Corral Site is located south of Delta, Utah and west of Kanosh. Numerous petroglyphs are found upon many of the basalt boulders that are strewn about on the east side of Lava Ridge. The site gets its name from an old sheep shearing corral that we will assume was owned at one time by one of the Kanosh Paxtons.

The site is easily accessible by 2wd vehicles in dry weather. If coming from Kanosh simply head west on the Little Black Mountain Road. If from Interstate 15 take Exit 146 and follow South 8100 West for 3.9 miles to the Little Black Mountain Road and turn left. Continue for about 7 miles and go left at the fork. Enroute you will pass the turn off to the Hole in the Rock Site near the 5 mile point from South 8100 West.

After another mile turn left again and stay on this road all the way to the unmarked Paxton's Corral. If you come to the Historic Stone Corral then you missed the last turn and will need to backtrack a few hundred feet to where there is another short spur that connects to the correct route. Basically you want to drive around the east side of Lava Ridge and not the west.

There are 2 good pullouts to choose from for a place to park. Once parked the first of the petroglyphs are only an hundred feet or so away. Most of the petroglyphs are to the right of the second pullout and more directly in front of the first one.

This is one place where most of the petroglyphs are still pretty easy to make out.

The blotch on the left of these spoked concentric circles is similar to the damage that comes from skin oil. If that is the cause the touching could have been that which happened during the making of the image or any that happened afterwards, It just goes to show how important it is not to touch the rock.

It is often very difficult to spot images on basalt boulders unless viewed from a certain angle. The images on this boulder were more of an exception to that as they were visible from several angles from a good distance.

This interesting image was practically invisible and hard to see from any angle without shading the sun. We thought this image was particularly interesting because they seem to have made use of a natural hole in the rock to represent the 'sipapu' or place of emergence. In Hopi and other legends that 'symbolized the portal through which their ancestors first emerged to enter the present world'.

Some of the best images are on boulders that are high up on the ridge that would be very difficult to scramble up to for closer photos.

These images are stuck back in another awkward place. Here there are male and female figures that are separated by a snake. The concentric circles below the male figure are sometimes used to represent 'god'. There are several similar panels nearby that incorporate snakes separating people and game. It's interesting how some images convey feelings more than words. This couple with the beliefs upon which they built their life could represent any couple, in any part of the world, and any belief no matter what it might be.

Name that plant?

Here are two more figures separated by a snake. The one on the left is off the perpendicular. Falling and upside down persons can mean death but we were wondering whether the figure on the right was a shaman or medicine man shaking a rattle. Maybe a healing ceremony or something?

There are a lot of images at the Paxton Corral site as seen in the very long slideshow that follows. The sites easy access makes it well worth a visit. There are more similar images within a half mile further south at a location that we are calling the Lava Ridge Site for lack of any better name. Another stop while in the area would be the Hole in the Rock Site that was passed enroute. Continuing past the Historic Stone Corral on the 257 to Kanosh Road will lead by the Water Tank Site. All these sites taken together will make for a good day of exploring. As far as the Paxton Corral Site goes, if you would like to see it for yourself all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.