Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Black Hills National Forest: Craven and Red Canyons

Today Noelle and I took a drive west of Hot Springs to Craven Canyon. I’d been there before during the winter I had worked at Wind Cave and I wanted to show the rock art to Noelle. It sure is a pretty drive out there. The landscape looks more like something one might find in southern Utah than in South Dakota. There are a lot of bright red sandstone cliffs and canyons. We parked just outside of a ranch, then hiked in to the rock art. The site contains both pictographs and petroglyphs.
We spent some time exploring the rock faces looking for them, ate a snack, then hiked back to the car for a drive through Red Canyon.

I had never been to Red Canyon before, but had heard that there’s some rock art to be seen there, alongside the road. After a few miles of driving through the canyon, past interesting little ranches, mines, and other unknown features, we spotted some chalked petroglyphs along the right side of the road.
The art was pecked into odd shapes and it was difficult for us to determine what they represented. After looking at the art for a few minutes, we got back in the car. We quickly spotted a little bit more rock art as we drove past another sandstone outcropping. It was an interesting way to spend the morning. As we headed back into Hot Springs on US-18, we hit rain as we crested the tall ridge just before making the decent into town.

3 comments:

Unknown said...

Did you go on a tour? Was the ranch you walked across private land? My husband and I are trying to find the best way in to see them. Thanks.

Eric and Noelle Grunwald said...

The people at the forest service office in Hot Springs told me about the place. The amount of time walking through the ranch property is minimal, so I think there must be some sort of public easement in place.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the Canyon is now a "forest' of black trees burned in a fire the sunner of 2012. Four firefighters died after their slurry plane crashed. So sorry...