Twin Alcoves

Round Trip Distance: 0.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4255 - 4291 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: CR #110 MM 1.9
Fee: none
Attractions: BCS pictographs, cave ruins

In the Triangle Mesa area, of Grand County, Utah, about 10.4 miles west of the Colorado/Utah state line and less than a mile east of the Colorado River, there is a short box canyon, off to the side of CR 110, that has 3 alcoves. The 2 south facing alcoves contain rubble ruins from past dwellings as well as a few petroglyphs, pictographs, sharpening grooves, metates and grinding surfaces upon small boulders.

Measuring from the Glade Park Store, west of Grand Junction, Colorado, follow the paved DS Road for 20.1 miles. Turn right onto the Triangle Road, CR #107. Stay left after another 3/4 of a mile following the sign pointing towards the Colorado and Dolores Rivers.

Continue for another 7.4 miles and veer right onto CR 110. The drive down Dry Gulch, with the sandstone cliffs on the right and Triangle Mesa on the left is rather picturesque up to this point.

After following CR 110 for just under 2 miles the short box canyon appears on the right giving glimpses of the alcoves as you approach. As the road nears the crest of the hill there is what looks like an old stone fence just before a cattleguard. The road is wide enough in several places to park off to the side, out of the way, along the curve just below the stone fence.

Begin hiking by dropping down from the road and finding an old faint trail that travels along the bank above the wash leading into the box canyon.

As the trail travels around a corner the first alcove appears.

On the east wall of the alcove is a noticeable Barrier Canyon Style pictograph. While it is getting much faded, and there are several distracting inscriptions scratched over the panel, there are several images worth noticing. Just to the left of the main central figure is a wispy red image with a snake on each side. To the right are a half dozen other red figures lined up like cortiers to the main figure.

Depressions, or holes, can be found throughout the alcove. We are assuming these were made by pothunters, many of which years ago passed as amature archaeologists that plundered sites such as this before laws were passed to protect them. Remember that today it is illegal to dig, excavate, damage or remove any articles. Leave everything untouched just as though you were in a museum.

Grinding surfaces and broken metates still remain.

The second cave is just around the corner from the first. As you come up to the entrance of that alcove there is a boulder with a number of peckings. If we were forced to guess we would probably imagine they represent mostly water, game along the river and crops.

Bits of charcoal can be seen in the dirt to the left of these fragments of grinding stones.

 Looking around at the rocks will reveal some sharpening grooves and a few small petroglyphs.

From the state of the trail it appears that at one time the Twin Alcoves was more well known and more frequently visited than it is today. The drive is pleasant enough coming from the direction of Grand Junction. Enroute you might also notice a panel of petroglyphs that is partially visible from the road just after passing the turnoff to the Picture Gallery Ranch. There are private property signs just below the petroglyphs and what is mostly visible from the road are inscriptions that were carved above the images. As far as the Twin Alcoves go, if you would like to see them for yourself all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.