Utah is full of big-name national parks, places that top most travelers' bucket lists. Spending time in Dinosaur National Monument we learned early that even the less-known places are amazing. Wellington, Utah, is so far down the "known places" list I'm sure most people can't find it on the map. I'd certainly never heard of it. But a brochure at our last RV park for Nine Mile Canyon caught my eye. It was also a nice half-way stop between Vernal and Moab.
Although 45 miles long, the canyon is named for the initial nine mile survey done of the creek that runs here.
Our first stop Saturday morning is the Christensen Ranch just inside the canyon. Built in 1896 by Don Junsten, the site served as a working cattle ranch as well as a freight stop along this main trade route. Tom Christensen purchased the property in 1945. Although the ranch maintains his name there is no information on his time here or the transfer to BLM.
|Storage shed and two-room house.|
|Interior includes a faded paint wall and brick floors.|
|I love the rough planks of the corral.|
|I'm coming - don't leave without me!!|
|With few other vehicles, I'm able to stop on the road when we see a panel.|
|Some stories seem more clear than others.|
|Mother Nature competing for our attention.|
|Where Dr Seuss got his inspiration.|
|Snake or water chasing an interesting character.|
|Canyon cathedrals tower overhead.|
|The tufts along the top ridge are so thin they look more like the ruins of ancient walls.|
|Some are harder to catch.|
|We take a walk up a beautiful side canyon where the small clouds drop rain on us.|
|Our little detour rewards us with a few characters high on the wall.|
|The highlight of the drive is this well preserved panel known as The Great Hunt. Believed to be nearly 1000 years old, the story is protected by a large overhang.|
|If this were 3D you'd see the brown in front is a large overhand above the trail.|
|Each of the four panels look like they were drawn decades apart.|
|One of only a couple buffalo I've ever seen in rock art.|
|Another rare find for us are these fading drawings along the ground.|
|A lovely sunny meadow on our way home.|
|Fall colors in the high canyons remind us we were in New England last year, and the Eastern Sierras the year before. Life is good.|
Our Monday drive to Moab is an easy 110 miles south on Hwy 191. The red rock jumps out of the desert bottom and provides an almost formal entrance way into the little town of Moab, Utah. We've seen lots of pics, and like always, the real thing is so much better!
Our end site at OK RV Park has sweet views of the surrounding red hills as well as the towering Moab Ridge. Several permanents in very well maintained sites. Friendly staff. Level with 50 amp FHUs, a bit of green (mostly weeds) and a small tree, but we're only able to get three nights. At the Passport America rate of $19.50/night we are more than happy here.
|Taken from the other side of the highway, our park is in those trees on the right.|