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Nine Mile Canyon

(Last Updated On: May 25, 2020)

Just south of Price there is a beautiful drive up a canyon road that passes by scores of petroglyphs. Most of the petroglyph sites are roadside stops, so you don’t even really have to hike. If you like seeing petroglyph panels, and you’re up for a scenic drive, you should give Nine Mile Canyon a try.

Nine Mile Canyon is actually a lot more than nine miles. From the turn off of Highway 6 south of Price, it is 46 miles to the final and most impressive petroglyph panel, which is called the Great Hunt. We’ll get to that later, though.

Nine Mile Canyon begins here.
The canyon is beautiful.

The road is signed at 35 mph for most of the way, so it takes around 3 hours just to drive out to the end. With stops and short walks, it is best to plan half a day for this adventure. You’ll see a lot of cool rock art along the way. We used this guide from Castle Country to help us find the different stops, but we are going to give you some tips since some were trickier than we thought.

First Site

The first stop is signed (it actually says something like “First Site.”) You’ll find this sign between 26 and 27 miles (there are mile markers). Don’t overthink it, though. It’s easy to find. You can easily park on the right hand side. Cross the road and check out the panel. As with all antiquities (and nature in general), don’t touch, mark, or damage the rock. Just leave it the way you found it. Sadly, there is a lot of graffiti in Nine Mile Canyon.

First Site has some nice petroglyphs.
There is a small pullout right by this mile marker sign.

Cottonwood Glen Picnic Area

The next stop is Cottonwood Glen Picnic Area. This is also signed and comes up on the right a mile or two after the first stop. There is an old cabin with some informational signs inside. You can also see a well, a cellar, and a corral from an old homestead.

The cabin is open for you to walk right inside.
There isn’t much to see inside except the walls.
Out back there is an old well, cold storage area, and fireplace.

Balanced Rock

Fewer than 5 miles down the road there is an amazing balanced rock. The guide says it’s at 31.9 miles, but we found it around the corner just after mile marker 32. Stop just passed the rock. There are two good panels to see. Walk back along the road and look at the far side of the rock. There are a couple of good panels. Over on the far side, where you park, you can walk a few steps past the large trees and see some really amazing panels, too.

The balanced rock is easy to see.
There are petroglyphs right by the pullout area near balanced rock.
Balanced Rock also has some petroglyphs.

Daddy Canyon Complex

We looked for the granary that is supposed to be between balanced rock and Daddy Canyon, but we couldn’t find it. Keep an eye out. After Balanced Rock, the next stop is the Daddy Canyon Complex. This is where you can get out of your vehicle (use the pit toilet) and walk for a bit. There is a map for a half mile loop trail. It takes you past dozens of petroglyphs created by the Fremont and Ute Indians. As you hike, turn right when you come to the rock wall. The ghost trail to the left goes nowhere.

Daddy Canyon is large and has a lot of petroglyphs everywhere.
There was quite a variety of pictures.
As you hike along the wall, keep your eyes open.
Some of the petroglyphs are from the Utes, others are much older.
This line of goats was our favorite sighting at Daddy Canyon.

Fremont Village

Just a few more miles down the road, you’ll pass the Fremont Village. We hiked the steep hill and saw a few foundations for houses, but this is the easiest part of the adventure to skip.

We didn’t take any pictures at Fremont Village, but Nine Mile Canyon is beautiful.

Big Buffalo

Around the bend is the Big Buffalo. A hike of about a hundred yards down to the left takes you to this panel. It looks exactly like a big buffalo. There is also another trail that is supposed to take you to some other panels, but we couldn’t find them.

To see the Big Buffalo, walk down through the wash to the panel.
Big Buffalo
You can tell how large that buffalo is next to our 11 year old.

Great Hunt

Almost across the street is the final panel, at mile 46. There is a large parking area and a 50 meter walk to the Great Hunt Panel. You can see dozens of bighorn sheep, as well as three hunters with bows and a trapezoid shaped figure. It was one of the best panels that we’ve seen! This panel alone is worth the pretty drive through Nine Mile Canyon.

The Big Hunt

We hiked Gordon Creek Waterfall while we were in the Price area. If you are looking for some other great scenic drives in Utah, check out our post on scenic drives.

Directions

From Price, take the 6 east toward Green River. Turning north (left) on 2200 East (Soldier Creek Road), at the Chevron gas station. The mileage for Nine Mile Canyon begins at the sign shown above.

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