Big Basketmaker Site

Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5272 - 5823 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: UT-211 mm 3.6
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

The Big Basketmaker Site is located in the Indian Creek Recreation Area of Bears Ears National Monument northwest of Monticello, Utah. Found at the site that overlooks the mouth of Hog Canyon are a half dozen or more panels of petroglyphs that include some larger than life basketmaker style anthropomorphic images.

Some of the petroglyphs, including the Big Basketmaker Panel, are visible with the naked eye from the trailhead which is on the right side of the highway about 3 miles past the Newspaper Rock site.

Follow the well worn path through the brush where you will pass a brown mylar marker reminding you to please help protect America's past.

A well constructed trail with stone steps takes a lot of the effort out of getting up to the petroglyphs that are more than 500 feet above the highway.

Once up to the base of the cliffs petroglyphs begin appearing on most of the smooth well patinated surfaces.

This might be 'hand', 'head' and 'foot' or something else but he ghost hand or head looks pretty cool. We thought of it as a head, of course, because of what looks like two eyes and a mouth but also because of the four vertical lines that look like those on the head of one of the big basketmakers.

This looks like a fluteless kokopelli hunched under the weight of his pack.

Basketmaker styled image with bird hands and feet.

Another interesting set of images. With the very dark skies of the time we've wondered how one might have depicted the milky way in rock art and this made us think a little of that.

The Big Basketmaker style images are high up on a ledge. The two larger images draw most of the eyes attention but there are a couple of other smaller images between them and another large image that is just out of the photo on the left. Also notice the image to the left of the large image on the left's hand that is about the same size as the hand.

Hair bobs, fringed belt and maybe a thunder necklace.

 This one has hair bobs and kind of a thunder mask face with different designs on its body.

Just past the big basketmakers there are some images on the east side of a boulder. Two small anthropomorphic images make up the top left and lower right corners with a rung ladder and what we will call a circle ladder for lack of anything more descriptive.

Further north along the cliff in a very hard to get to spot is what looks like some nice images but that are hard to get up to. This photo was take from the trailhead. On the map we labeled this as the 'Hidden Panel'.

The Big Basketmaker images must have looked like an imposing billboard overlooking the valley below when they were freshly created. They are faded enough now that they are easy to miss from the highway but if you know where to look they still show up well enough. With a well constructed trail the site is easier to visit than a few of the other dozen stops along Indian Creek and well worth the little time that it takes. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.