RATING: Easy to Moderate Hike
LENGTH: 1+ hours
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
SEASON: Any, hot in summer.
Ascending Sheep Panel is one of those panels that is often talked about in reverent tones. The panel is small, but one of the most intricate and interesting panels I have visited in the San Rafael Swell. The 30+ sheep that ascend up to what seems to be a sheep god are individually painted with fascinating detail and a keen eye.
This can be a tricky panel to visit. If starting from the paved road and going cross country, a good bit of route finding is required. Many, without a GPS, have come up short trying to find the panel. Alternatively, with a high clearance 4x4 capable of a bit of rock crawling, the panel is practically a roadside attraction. If walking the jeep road, the hike becomes a somewhat monotonous 6 mile round trip affair, but with a high likelihood of success.
This description follows the road to an overlook and excellent camping, then visits the panel. With a stock Grand Cherokee, the road proved a little challenging in a couple of spots, but not particularly difficult. The road would be a great ATV road and a so-so mountain bike ride due to quite a bit of sand. If you do drive, there are many great primitive campsites along the way, especially at the overlook that is the end of the main road.