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     7 Kiva Ruin
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Comb Ridge
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    Butler Wash Ruin
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Canyon of the Ancients
  Lowry Pueblo
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San Juan River
  16 Room House
  Sand Island Panel

Canyonlands N.P.
  Island In The Sky District
     Aztec Butte

Hovenweep N.M.

Other Cool Places
  Little Westwater Ruin
  Moki Dugway
  Milk Ranch Point
  Whiskers Draw
  Moki Dugway

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Sand Island Petroglyph Panel near Bluff, Utah

      the Sand Island Petroglyph Panel is one of the finest examples of easily accessible Anasazi rock art. Located just outside of Bluff Utah it's over 100 yards of rock art that spans everything from archaic to modern times.  The sheer amount of art along with the time range it represents tells us that this area must have held some special significance.

     The Sand Island Petroglyph Panel is as easy to find as they come. It is located in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Sand Island Recreation
Sand Island Rock Art Panel Click to enlarge
     Among the petroglyphs you will find at sand Island are these delightful carving of sheep, including one playing a flute!.
Area just 3 mile south of Bluff. The Recreation Area is one of the major launching spots for both commercial and private floaters on the San Juan River. In addition to the excellent boat launch facilities you will find a well maintained fee required campground with about 25 campsites, pit toilets and no drinking water. The Sand Island Recreation Area is open year round.

     The rock art found at the Sand Island Petroglyph Panel spans virtually all of the time that humans were known to inhabit the four corners area. Carbon dating of a sandal found in the general area of Sand Island Panel showed that the area was likely occupied as early as 6,500 BC and there are petroglyphs that are possibly that old on the panel. From that prehistoric time until recent times the Sand Island Petroglyph Panel was marked by every succeeding group. From the early Basketmaker period through the Pueblo III period Anasazi Indians left record of their habitation of the area. In more recent times the Utes and Navajo also left records in this spot that clearly had a special meaning to them.
Anasazi rock art at Sand Island near Bluff, UTClick to enlarge
     Looking out from 16 Room House there is a spectacular vista with the flat river bottom lands in the foreground. It is easy to imagine that these were important croplands for the Anasazi. 

      The petroglyph panel is very easy to find. It is on the north side of the site and both signs and the fencing protecting the panel make it obvious where to look. There is a very short walk up the hill to the protective fence that keeps visitors well back from the rock wall. It's unfortunately that people don't properly respect these archaeological treasures. Because of the actions of the few we all have to be restricted. Please remember this everywhere you go in Anasazi country and be sure that you never cause the deterioration of any site. Look, don't touch!

     The Petroglyph panel stretches for more than a hundred yards and features hundreds of petroglyphs of every style. Human figures, many types of animals, geometric patterns, scalp figures and numerous Kokopelli figures, including a very obvious Kokopelli with a very over sized phallus and playing a flute.

Anasazi petroglyphs near Mexican Hat, UT
   The Sand Island rock art panel is a very old feature and the rock has weathered to a very dark patina. This makes it very hard to get good photos, particularly on a bright day when there is a lot of reflection. However it is possible to get decent photos and you will be sure to want to allow yourself enough time to really explore and appreciate the rock art on display here.

    The Sand Island Petroglyph Panel is a very important and unique area. While much of the rock art in the Grand Gulch/Cedar Mesa area is difficult to access, the Sand Island Panel is accessible to almost everyone. There are thousands of years of history that are represented on the Panel and there can be no doubt that this part of the San Juan River area was of special importance to the Anasazi as well as to those who both proceeded them and survived them.

Sand Island PictographClick to enlarge
 If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Bluff or Mexican Hat Utah area do yourself a favor and make time to visit the unique archaeological treasure - the Sand Island Petroglyph Panel.


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