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Cedar Mesa
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     7 Kiva Ruin
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   Slickhorn Canyon
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Comb Ridge
  Procession Panel
  Wolfman Panel
  Upper Butler Wash
    Butler Wash Ruin
    Ballroom Cave
    Target Ruin

Canyon of the Ancients
  Lowry Pueblo
  Ruin Canyon
  Montezuma Creek

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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The Wolfman Pictograph Panel on Comb Ridge

      The eastern slopes of Comb Ridge once provided homes for many Anasazi and their predecessors. The entire area from the San Juan River to the foothills of the Abajo Mountains was inhabited from the early hunter gatherers to the cliff dwelling Anasazi of the Pueblo III period. These first residents left behind many cultural treasures ranging from large housing units to small lithic scatters. There are three distinct sections of Butler Wash which runs all along the length of Comb Ridge. Lower Butler Wash is the section between Utah Hwy 163 and the San Juan
Approach route to Wolfman Panel      The best approach route to Wolfman Panel cuts behind this rock and leads down a sloped ramp to the canyon floor. (click photo to enlarge)
River while Upper Butler Wash is the area north of Utah Hwy 95. Between these two highways are 21 miles of dirt road ? San Juan County Road 230. All along this road you can find access into and onto the fantastically eroded slopes of Comb Ridge where you will find many different cultural treasures.

      The Wolfman Panel is a well preserved and interesting rock art panel in the southern section of the main Butler Wash. Unfortunately, the panel has been damaged by some idiot who defaced the artwork by shooting the pictographs with a rifle but it is still a great site to visit. One nice aspect of the Wolfman Panel is the easy access. The parking area is only a mile of good road from the highway and the hike to the panel is well under a half mile.

A portion of the Wolfman Panel      The Wolfman Panel has a number of excellent pictographs, including this impressive stretch of rock art which has been scarred by bullets. (click photo to enlarge)
      The easiest way to access the Wolfman Panel is to get on to the Butler Wash Road (SJ 230) from Utah 163 about 4 miles west of Bluff, UT.  At about mile marker 40.5 the Butler Wash Road takes off to the north. It is usually in good shape and it is often possible to take a passenger car to the parking area which is just about a mile from the highway. It is very easy to find the access which is right at the fence line which crosses the road. You will need to head west along the fence line to access the ruin. You can park right by the county road or you can drive along the old 4wd track that is quite obvious. Either way, it is only a couple of hundred yards until the sandy road turns into slickrock.You can also take the Butler Wash Road (SJ230) from the north. If you come this way, it is almost exactly 20 miles from UT 95.

      When you hit the slickrock it can be difficult to find the correct path but if you look carefully, you can follow the old road track across the slickrock to the cliff edge. Following the faint four-wheel-drive pathway takes you to the edge of a cliff side overlooking Butler Wash. As opposed to some of the areas in the upper wash, this is a true cliff and you are standing up high on the rock looking over a sheer drop down into Butler Wash. Look for a cairn that will show you where to drop off the cliff edge. There are a few ways to get down to the bottom but the best way, if you can find it, is to take the slickrock ramp that leads downward to the south. This ramp is hidden from above by a large boulder but if you get around it the way is obvious.
The Wolfman pictograph  The Wolfman Pictograph.. (click photo to enlarge)

     If you don?t find the ramp you can find another way to work down the hillside until you get to the Butler Wash Bottom. From here head downstream and the sweeping wall with the Wolfman Panel is quite obvious. The rock art is easy to find and very impressive. These pictographs were made by the Basketmakers who created much of the finest rock art in Anasazi country. The Wolfman image which gives the panel its name is a long limbed big handed humanoid. Additional figures include a crane or similar bird, a beautiful representation of a basket, a yucca plant, a mask, a humanoid with a headdress and many other figures. Unfortunately, as already mentioned, the site has been damaged by bullets.
Learn More:
     There are a number of books with good accounts of hiking to the Wolfman Panel for hiking instructions see A Hiking Guide To Cedar Mesa by Peter Tassoni.  
      Additional information about the rock art is in The Anasazi of Mesa Verde and the Four Corners by William Ferguson

        After exploring the Wolfman site you can return to your car or you can spend some time exploring in Butler Wash. There are ruins in the area so look around and see what you can find.

      The hike to the Wolfman Panel is short, easy and interesting. It makes a great short hike that gives a good glimpse of the nature of this area.
 

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