Range Creek – A Wonder of Preservation
Join us for a rare opportunity to visit Range Creek archaeology sites and prehistoric Fremont rock art in this two-day / two-night vehicle trip with interpretive hikes, overnight camping, allows plenty of time to explore and enjoy the canyon. Guest Expert Dr. Kevin Jones will lead us through Range Creek Canyon, an area he has researched and worked in extensively. Our experts narrate the story of this unique landscape, the people who lived here, how they lived, and why they eventually departed. A CFI naturalist guide handles camp, cooking and driving. The trip includes a visit to the ranch homestead, stories about early-day settlers as well as information about canyon geology, flora, and fauna. We almost always see a big mammal of some sort on our trips!
Includes vehicle tour, short walks, camping, evening program, all meals. Located in the Book Cliffs between Green River and Price, Utah, Range Creek canyon has been recently opened to research and restricted vehicle access after careful protection by local ranching family for many years. Small group, comfortable vehicle supported camp, outside the locked entrance gate. Our longer trip format than that of other outfitters allows quality time for enjoying the camp setting, a slower and more in-depth experience.
We do visit several rock art panels and a Fremont pit house village up close; other structures and panels are viewed at some distance; our route and stops are as allowed under contract with the University of Utah that now manages research and public access in Range Creek. A good pair of binoculars is a must! (though CFI will bring several extra pairs and spotting scope).
Dr. Kevin Jones is currently the owner and Principal Investigator for Ancient Places Consulting, an archaeological and environmental consulting firm and is based in Pleasant View, Colorado. He served from 1994-2011 as the State Archaeologist and Antiquities Section Coordinator for the Utah Division of State History; during his tenure Range Creek “came to public attention” and was transferred to state ownership. Additionally, he has served as a research coordinator and Adjunct Associate Professor for the University of Utah. He and photographer Layne Miller recently published Standing on the Walls of Time.
” Visitors from far away can look at pictures online or in a book of Utah’s rock art, and they do, but the allure goes beyond that: seeing the creations in their true environment is the preferred and optimal way to appreciate them. And it is the preferred and optimal way to appreciate Utah as well.” – Dr. Kevin Jones.
We’ll meet in Green River at the John Wesley Powell Museum at 1:30 pm the first day and see a display with artifacts from the region. Park your vehicle here and travel on with a CFI Guides to enter the Book Cliffs at Horse Canyon. Once there, we’ll follow a steep rough road for about an hour, stop for a geology overview at an 8,500’ pass, then drop into Little Horse Canyon and continue on until we reach the locked gate protecting the canyon.
Here, we set up a comfortable camp in a lovely meadow under pine trees. By foot, we’ll visit a rock art site near the camp. After a delicious dinner, we’ll learn more about the area’s preservation issues and geology. Over the next two days, we cover the 14 miles inside the gate to the Wilcox Ranch homestead. The exact stops vary by current conditions and group interest. The last day after lunch, we depart Range Creek about 2:30 pm, arriving back at Green River about 4:30 pm.
” I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Kevin and Rebecca and our camp cook/support guide, Xandra. Coordinating, packing, unpacking, delicious meals, superb guiding and driving and in spite of long and early hours. They remained pleasant, humble, always aware of client needs… and shared a wealth of interesting knowledge.”
Susan Zanoli, Montrose, CO
Discover how Range Creek is a field school for the University of Utah’s Department of Anthropology.
Read the Smithsonian Magazine’s article Secrets of the Range Creek Ranch.
Learn about the Range Creek Research Project at the Natural History Museum of Utah website.
Up to one mile round trip hikes on relatively flat trails with up to 250 feet of elevation gain per day. One optional walk involves a shallow creek crossing.