Eastern Book Cliffs Deep History

Historian John Weisheit and archaeologist Michael Wolfe will guide you through both ancient and recent sites.


This is a comprehensive introduction to the geologic history, prehistoric and historic occupation, and current issues facing the Eastern Book Cliffs and Cisco desert region. We will see Archaic Barrier Canyon style, Fremont, and Ute rock art plus a lesser-known inscription of French trapper,  Denis Julien. This area was an important place for prehistoric and historic people to travel through and leave paintings and engravings on the cliff faces.

Our trip meets in Moab on the first morning and we travel to Thompson Springs, Sego then across the benchlands to Cottonwood Canyon and Diamond Creek. We make a comfortable base camp and following days explore Westwater, Hay Canyons and on top of the BookCliffs along the Divide Road which brings us to our second camp amidst ponderosa pines and with a spectacular view of the canyon country below. The last day brings us to more rock art sites and interesting ranch history in East Canyon, along Westwater Creek and on the Cisco desert. We end back in Moab the afternoon of the third day.

Participate in discussions on rock art conservation and management for panels affected by natural causes. Threats from water, dust, salts, and vandalism will be addressed. Lifeways and economies over time will be discussed including native, and more recent ranching, railroad and energy exploration.


This trip will include two nights of truck supported camping including delicious meals, camp chairs, and sheltered kitchen. Participants bring their own tents and sleeping gear or rentals are available from CFI.

Activity Level


Up to one-mile hikes on relatively flat trails with up to 250 feet of elevation gain per day.

Photo Gallery

  • Where: Eastern Book Cliffs – Cottonwood, Hay Canyon/Westwater Creek
  • When: May 11, 2018 through May 13, 2018
  • Number of Days/Nights: Three days, two nights
  • Group Size: 5 min, 8 max
  • Age Group: Adults and youth 16+
  • Deadline for Signup: April 27, 2018
  • Cost per Person: TBA
  • Deposit: $300 (non-refundable)
  • Notes: