Ibex |

Tule Valley Area

Hiking Ibex - Tule Valley AreaRoadside Attraction Ibex - Tule Valley Area Ibex

Tule Valley Area

Overview

RATING: Roadside / Easy Hike
LENGTH: 1+ hours
MAPS: THE BARN, UT

Tue

Sunny, with a high near 76. South southwest wind 5 to 18 mph.

76 | 52

Wed

Sunny, with a high near 74. South southwest wind 10 to 21 mph.

74 | 51

Thu

A chance of rain showers after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 68. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

68 | 49

Fri

A chance of rain showers before noon, then showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 60.

60 | 45

Sat

A chance of rain showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 54.

54 | 41

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SEASON: Spring, Fall (Hot in summer). Winter is pleasant if the roads are snow free and dry.
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: None

Tue

Sunny, with a high near 76. South southwest wind 5 to 18 mph.

76 | 52

Wed

Sunny, with a high near 74. South southwest wind 10 to 21 mph.

74 | 51

Thu

A chance of rain showers after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 68. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

68 | 49

Fri

A chance of rain showers before noon, then showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 60.

60 | 45

Sat

A chance of rain showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 54.

54 | 41

View Full Weather Details
Abby and R. heading up The Horse Pasture canyon

Abby and R. heading up The Horse Pasture canyon

Ibex, in Utah's West Desert, is a fascinating place. The place was built by English immigrant Jack Watson. He created his isolated Ibex, where a few small water holes and lots of open country provided resources. Jack even went so far as setting up a post office as part of Ibex in 1898. He set up a small store selling goods and catering to sheepherders in the west desert. He stayed at Ibex until the 1930s. During this time, he kept a fairly detailed diary of his life. If you are interested in the detailed history, I can't recommend the book Hiking, Climbing & Exploring Western Utah's Jack Watson's Ibex Country by Michael R. Kelsey enough. Michael Kelsey has thoroughly researched Jack's life, and includes many entries from his diaries. It is a fascinating read.

Today, there isn't much left of the old place. A few metal parts here and there, as well as some old fencing and rocks that likely made up the house foundation. Relics appear to have gotten more sparse even since my first visit 10 or so years ago. Please leave anything you find where you found it, the antiquities act protects it. The area, tucked up next to a large, exposed quartzite outcropping, is fascinating to explore. Jack built several small dams to capture water, which are still in place, there are also petroglyphs and pictographs near one of these dams, and many rocks and boulders to scramble around on.

Note: This is a stones throw from Fossil Mountain. If in the area, I definitely recommend visiting it as well.
Really neat colors and textures on the Ibex area rock.

Really neat colors and textures on the Ibex area rock.

Getting There

To reach Ibex, head west out of Delta on US-6, heading toward Nevada. It is about 50 miles on US-6 to mile post 39.25 where a major dirt road leaves on the south side of US-6.

  • Reset your odometer as you leave the highway. ( 12S 295468mE 4322012mN / N39° 01' 24" W113° 21' 46" )
  • 0.9 miles - left onto main dirt road. ( 12S 294456mE 4320973mN / N39° 00' 49" W113° 22' 26" )
  • 8.4 miles - Junction. Go right onto the lesser used road. ( 12S 294230mE 4309123mN / N38° 54' 25" W113° 22' 23" )
  • 14.0 miles - junction - go right and reset your odometer. The road merges onto a road heading north. ( 12S 287657mE 4304354mN / N38° 51' 45" W113° 26' 50" )
  • 0.3 miles - Less used two-track road on the right. This is the road to Jack Watsons's Ibex. Take it. ( 12S 287432mE 4304757mN / N38° 51' 58" W113° 27' 00" )
  • 0.75 miles - Side track ojn the right to good primitive camping. Stay left. ( 12S 287754mE 4305340mN / N38° 52' 17" W113° 26' 47" )
  • 1.55 miles - Junction. Go right, then left to head north then east to Ibex proper. This is a good spot to park if hiking to the southern two tanks on the map. Going left at this junction leads back to the Blind Valley road near Fossil Mountain in a little over a half a mile. ( 12S 288202mE 4306565mN / N38° 52' 57" W113° 26' 30" )
  • 1.84 miles - Ibex ( 12S 288510mE 4306785mN / N38° 53' 04" W113° 26' 18" )
Heading into the narrow part of The Horse Pasture. Dam with petroglyph just below it also in the photo.

Heading into the narrow part of The Horse Pasture. Dam with petroglyph just below it also in the photo.

Route

Rock Art and Historic Site Etiquette
Rock art and historic sites are fragile, non-renewable cultural resources that, once damaged, can never be replaced. To ensure they are protected, please:
  • Avoid Touching the Petroglyphs: Look and observe, BUT DO NOT TOUCH!
  • Stay on the Trails: Stay on the most used trails when visiting sites, and don't create new trails or trample vegetation.
  • Photography and Sketching is Allowed: Do not introduce any foreign substance to enhance the carved and pecked images for photographic or drawing purposes. Altering, defacing, or damaging the petroglyphs is against the law -- even if the damage is unintentional.
  • Pets: Keep pets on a leash and clean up after them.
  • Artifacts: If you happen to come across sherds (broken pottery) or lithics (flakes of stone tools), leave them where you see them. Once they are moved or removed, a piece of the past is forever lost.

The Horse Pasture
From Jack's old place, there is a dam and canyon to the east and a touch north. This drainage is named The Horse Pasture, and what we thought was the most interesting place at Ibex.If you hike up the bottom of the drainage, past the first dam, keep an eye out on the right for a couple of old pictograph panels. Both have weather significantly, and could be mistaken for natural colors in the rock until you view them up close.

Just a few minutes above the dam, the canyon narrows at a second small dam. Climb around the dam on the left side, but be sure to notice the petroglyph on the right side, flat on a ledge, facing up just below the dam. Just above the dam is another pictograph on the right, a circular pattern.

The narrow canyon has a small up climb section that didn't give our 6-year-old any trouble, but did give the dog pause. If continuing up with dogs, you may need to give them a boost here. The canyon quickly opens and becomes easier walking. We wandered up a bit, enjoying the colorful rock walls until it began to open broadly with less interesting scenery.

We also hiked up the canyon just south of Jack's place as well. It is brushy, and not as scenic as Horse Pasture.

Southern Tanks
Finally, if you start at the last junction before Ibex, mentioned in the driving directions, you can hike a bit south and east to another small dam (tank) that Jack built. Like all the others, it has mostly filled with sediment over the years. From there, head south over a small hill and into the next drainage. Head up this drainage to a final dam just above a short, narrow section of canyon.

Note: I've described the things we found most interesting, but the area is a great place to poke around and see what you find. Our daughter, in particular, enjoyed scrambling around on the many boulders and rocks in the area.


Maps

Printable Maps:
Ibex

12S 288510mE 4306785mN

N38° 53' 04" W113° 26' 18"

Old Dam

12S 288546mE 4306817mN

N38° 53' 05" W113° 26' 16"

Dam and Petroglyph

12S 288620mE 4306796mN

N38° 53' 05" W113° 26' 13"

Circle Pictograph

12S 288635mE 4306794mN

N38° 53' 05" W113° 26' 13"

Tank

12S 288363mE 4306526mN

N38° 52' 56" W113° 26' 24"

2nd Tank

12S 288625mE 4306403mN

N38° 52' 52" W113° 26' 13"

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