Text and pictures © 2003-2017 Guillaume Dargaud
Last updated on 2012/11/27
"Eastward the dawn rose, ridge behind ridge into the morning, and vanished out of eyesight into guess; it was no more than a glimmer blending with the hem of the sky, but it spoke to them, out of the memory and old tales, of the high and distant mountains." — J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of The Rings.
After we both hurt some body parts (knees, back, thumb, wrists) in various falls, we were kept out of climbing for the first few months of 2003. A hiking trip through Grand Gulch, Utah, kept us busy. After a long drive and a quick stop at the ranger station to get a hiking permit, we started the hike down the canyon and almost immediately were in a magic setting of high cliffs, large boulders and Anasazie ruins.
Left: Large boulder at the start of the descent into Grand Gulch Canyon.
Right: The first ruins down canyon.
After about one hour we arrive at the first ruins after having met only a few people going the other way. We won't see anyone else the entire trip.
Left: Various artifacts at the base of an Anasazie dwelling.
The dwellings are out of reach far above on a ledge, but the base is littered with various artifacts: broken potteries, eaten corn, bones... Pictures will be the only souvenir.
Right: Various pieces of broken pottery at the base of an Anasazie dwelling.
Left: Jenny checking out the well preserved ruins of an indian house, up on a ledge. Unlike other places like Mesa Verde where access is limited to looking from a distance, in Grand Gulch you can access the ruins, provided you don't disturb them.
Right: What must have been an Anasazie kitchen: grinding stones, potteries, baskets, fire pit...
Left: Jenny trying out the grinding stone left in place.
Right: Anasazie (or Basketmaker or Pueblo...) mud house and its door. Surprisingly small.
Left: Small house under a flat boulder.
Right: Open Kiva and houses.
Left: An open Kiva seen from below.
Right: Another Kiva at another site. Most sites with more than one house had a Kiva.
Left: Some pictographs.
Right: There are many pictographs all over Grand Gulch.
Left: A house built in a horizontal crack in the cliff.
Right: Setting up camp in the middle of the canyon. There are many campsites to chose from. The hike through the canyon usually takes 3 days. We managed to do it in two, going fast and not spending enough time at the ruins or in the several side canyons.
Left: Preparing dinner on the rock. No fire for us, although it is allowed.
Right: The tent under the stars.
Left: The so-called JailHouse, very well preserved. A bit of crawling brings you to other houses above.
Right: Mud house.
Left: A little Anasazie house.
Right: Jenny going down the scale leading inside a perfectly preserved Kiva.
Left: Inside the perfect kiva. The smells of smoke still linger.
Right: Various grinding marks on the rock: for grinding cereals, sharpening arrowheads, crushing corn and more.
For more desert images, or if you want to purchase images, go see Eric Wunrow's website, a photographer with a love for the desert.