My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Along the Cub Creek Road Auto Tour

I finally tore myself away from the beautiful dawn,  to see the even more impressive landscape of the monument. I got to the official entrance just after sunrise and bought  a  guide to the Cub Creek Road Auto tour. I was delighted to see that they were available, even though no one was around to wave me in after looking at my federal senior pass. 

The very first stop was just down the road and was a site of a 7000 year old shelter that also contained pictographs. It was only a short walk from the parking area to on a flat trail to see pictographs and petroglyphs that were probably made by people of the Fremont culture who inhabited this area about 1000 years ago.

I didn't really read enough while I was on the tour to understand all the geology there. I found that the Green River was much higher and that rounded river stones, made by tumbling through a stream, occur even on mountain tops.  Mountains have grown here and then been cut back down by the erosion of water.  The Green River was once much higher than it is now and is responsible for those rounded stones.

It is hard to take a quick trip through this area without many stops for pictures and to just gaze in awe at the amazing landscape, sometimes decorated by trees flashing their brilliant autumn colors of bright yellows, golds, and reds. It would take even more time (and knowledge) to decode the geological history

Just another view

View of the Green River from a lookout point over Split Rock Campground

Guess these folks wish they had a view

Lots of gold around here

An outcrop of the Morrison Formation - dinosaurs are found in these layers - reminds me of Spanish dancers

So many colors in these rocks. 

Where driving is amazing

Rocks and foliage were in matching colors

The auto tour ends at the homestead of Josephine Bassett, a local legend. She settled here in 1914.  Hopefully, I'll get around to telling you her story.

Some leaves felt like stained glass when backlit by the sun

Trail to a Box Canyon at Josephine Basset's homestead

Walls of the Box Canyon

Closeup of part of the Box Canyon

I ended up taking several hours to drive the 24 miles of the tour.  There was so much to see.  And there were some other short hikes to pictographs and petroglyphs. (I'll take you with me on one of those hikes in a later post. )But twice I found the trail closed because of falling rock.  I came back in the late evening to hike the Desert Voices Trail.