RATING: Easy Hiking
LENGTH: 2-4 hours (3.5 miles)
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
MAPS: BULL VALLEY GORGE, UT;
SEASON: Any, although summers can be hot.
The wide and open canyon of Sheep Creek is often overlooked for its more sinuous neighbors, Bull Valley Gorge and Willis Creek However, as Sheep Creek meanders down from the road, it deepens with colorful and striking walls. The walls, colors, and general scenery alone make this a worthwhile hike. Two excellent rock art panels in Sheep Creek make a great addition to all the other charms.
The panels make a great destination. At about 3.5 miles round trip through relatively easy terrain, this makes for a family friendly outing. The hike can be done any time of year but can be brutally hot in the summer months. If visiting in the summer, get an early start and bring plenty of water. Winter is a great time to visit as long as the roads are passable.
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Head south out of Cannonville toward Kodachrome basin on the Kodachrome Basin road for 2.7 miles to the Skutumpah Road.
From the parking area, follow the social trail/old road as it descends into Sheep Creek. This is an easy navigation route, head down canyon! In about 1-1.5 hours (1.75 miles), a side canyon comes in on the right. This is Willis Creek.
At the confluence of Willis Creek and Sheep Creek, a large panel is on the right, just downstream from the confluence. A well used social trail climbs to visit the panel. Be sure to follow the cliff band around and to the south for the best panel.
Blue Snake Panel
The Blue Snake Panel is easier to find on the way back then on the way to Willis Creek. To find the Blue Snake Panel, walk back up Sheep Creek toward the trailhead. About 5-10 minutes from the confluence of Willis Creek and Sheep Creek, look for a tall ponderosa tree on the left. Blue Snake Panel is on the left (south) side of the canyon, under a small overhang behind the ponderosa. An emerging social trail makes this relatively easy to find.
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