Sand Island Panel
N37° 15' 42", W109° 37' 07"
Just outside of Bluff, travel west on Highway 191 and turn left on Sand Island Road. When you reach the bottom of the canyon, turn west and follow the signs to the petroglyph panels.
The petroglyph panels are located along the south facing wall. There are a couple of vehicle pullouts and an unimproved trail system that winds its way around the tall brush and up to the panels. The panels are protected behind a chain-link fence which prevents people from touching and damaging the wall. Despite this, people have been able to do quite a bit of damage to the panel and you can see people’s names scratched into the surface.
Notes About Our Visit:
We did not spent much time here, just enough to walk the trail and snap a few photos. The area is dificult to photograph due to the petroglyphs being so high upon the wall. Most of our photographs are pointed up because of this. It might have been better to stand upon our vehicle parked on the road and take photos with a telephoto lens.
Camping can be done at the adjacent BLM operated Sand Island campground. Information can be found on the BLM website here.
We camped here in 2012 on our way to Overland Expo. We found the campground to be well maintained and easy to get to. One thing to note, the west end of the campground will have some road noise from the highway as it crosses the San Juan river. It was common to hear semi trucks using compression braking as they descended into the canyon.
Beau Johnston is an engineer, writer, and photographer who is dedicated to proving you can find a balance between work and life. He is the Co-Founder and Publisher of Living Overland and a member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. When he isn't working, you can find him exploring National Parks, fly fishing, and camping with his wife (Krista) and their two dogs.
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