Supercrack Ruin

Round Trip Distance: 0.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5672 - 5775 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: UT-211 mm 2.8
Fee: none
Attractions: ruin, rock art

The Supercrack Ruin is located in the Indian Creek Recreation Area of the Bears Ears National Monument northwest of Monticello, Utah. The small ruin is perched upon a boulder against the high wall near Supercrack Buttress. Some interesting petroglyphs and painted hand pictographs can also be found at the base of the high wall for several hundred feet to the south.

The trailhead for the Supercrack Ruin is a pull out that goes around a cattleguard near the 2.8 mile point of UT-211. The cattleguard is right about 3.9 miles north of the famous Newspaper Rock National Historic Site.

The ruin, which is the red circle on the left, is visible from the highway by looking almost straight up from the cattleguard. The other red circles are a few of the petroglyph panels and the red arrow is pointing at the backside of a large slab of rock that is leaning up against the mountain where the painted hands pictographs are located. The blue circle is pointing out the start of an old constructed trail that leads up to the ruin.

Rather than go up the old constructed trail we walked down the highway an hundred yards or so and angled our way up to the first of the petroglyphs that we could see from below. This photo probably makes the scramble up the side of the hill look much easier than it was. The hillside is somewhat steep and it is nothing but loose rocks and dirt so there was not really anything at all to recommend it as a route.

There are some very queer looking petroglyphs to be found as you work your way along the cliff toward the ruin. We're guessing that this thing that looks more like a goose than a bighorn might actually have 4 legs after all. That thing on its head looks more like a crown than horns.

I suppose that the smaller bighorn with its mouth open is bleating to the larger one.

We saw this off to the right and at first thought it was a snake. Then we thought it might be two snakes. And then we just thought hmm.

The painted hands are the one thing that isn't visible from the highway with binoculars. They are tucked away behind a large slab of rock facing the cliff.

Here there is a vertical column of negative hand prints that are in four pairs. There are some smaller horizontal hand prints that are hard to make out. They don't get any sunlight or any of the weather so most of the hands still show up quite well.

As you work your way around the large slab of rock in the direction of the ruin you might notice a few more petroglyphs that are on some of the other boulders rather than on the face of the cliff itself.

Here's an image on the cliff that looks kind of like it has a face. Pretty interesting to imagine the features.

 Usually long skinny zoomorphs with long tails represent mountain lions but this one has a fat belly and maybe a snake for a head. To complete the imagery the end of the tail also looks like a snake. I don't know but both snakes and mountain lions are deadly so maybe that is the concept.

Four fingered bird feet.

Horizontal ladder.

The way the ruin is situated, like the nearby Battle of the Bulge Ruin, it looks more like a redoubt than a convenient place to live. We wondered whether it was just a storage room like a granary but the big image of concentric circles and other petroglyphs above the ruin make it seem otherwise. Like someone spent a good bit of time perched up there.

There is a lot of old gringo graffiti all around the ruin. Some of it is right on top of actual petroglyphs. Be sure to help protect these sites and the general aesthetics of the outdoors at large by never leaving your own graffiti here or anywhere. Also, please be content with viewing the ruin from below.

We came down the old constructed trail to get back to our truck. The mountain has almost completely reclaimed that trail but a few of its still remaining steps do come in handy when you can find them. It probably would have been a better route to climb up to the ruin but then we probably would have come down the other way after all since we would have been at that end of the cliff. However you decide to go about it, if you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.