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Fremont Indian State Park, Utah, United States

Parade of Rock Art - Fremont Indian State Park Trail #5

This fun and informative paved trail passes a high concentration of rock art. Wheelchairs and strollers may be used.

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Difficulty: Leicht
Length: 0.3 miles / 0.5 km
Duration: 1 Stunde oder weniger
 
Übersicht: Fremont Indian State Park is located along I-70 in central Utah. Admission to the park is $6 per vehicle. Camping is available at Castle Rock Campground.

Before you take this hike, be sure to stop at the visitor center/museum to learn a little bit of the history of the Fremont Indians. The information for this guide was taken from a trail guide packet that is available at the visitor center. It may be borrowed for free or purchased for $2. Alternatively, the packet may be downloaded for free from http://dyeclan.com/outdooractivities/funplaces/fremontindianstatepark/.

This fun and informative paved trail is 0.4 miles long and starts at the flagpole near the visitor center. Stop at the numbered posts and read the trail message with the corresponding number.

Wheelchairs and strollers may be used on this trail.

At Stop #9 is the trailhead to Fremont Indian State Park Trail #6: Court of Ceremonies.


Tipps: This short trail is moderate difficulty but is appropriate for the whole family. Elevation gain is about 100ft.

While at Fremont Indian State Park, consider visiting the following scenic trails:

Fremont Indian State Park Trail #1: Rim Trail View Points
Fremont Indian State Park Trail #2: Canyon of Life
Fremont Indian State Park Trail #3: Alma Christensen
Fremont Indian State Park Trail #4: Five Finger Ridge
Fremont Indian State Park Trail #5: Parade of Rock Art
Fremont Indian State Park Trail #6: Court of Ceremonies
Fremont Indian State Park Trail #7: Canyon Overlook
Fremont Indian State Park Trail #8: Hidden Secrets
Fremont Indian State Park Trail #9: Cave of 100 Hands
Fremont Indian State Park Trail #10: Arch of Art
Fremont Indian State Park Trail #11: Centennial Cabin
Fremont Indian State Park Trail #12: Sheep Shelter
Fremont Indian State Park Trail #13: Spider Woman Rock
Fremont Indian State Park Trail #14: Geology

Points of Interest

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Rock Art Translation

There is no universally accepted meaning for rock art. The only way to know what a panel means is to know what the artist was thinking at the time that he created it. Different observers have speculated on different meanings. These have included:

stories from the Bible and Book of Mormon,
weather phenomena like clouds, rain and lightening.
people and vehicles from outer space.
A more plausible explanation is from the Paiute Indians, who have used Clear Creek Canyon for many generations and consider, at least partially because the rock art is here, that the canyon is a sacred place. They think that the rock art tells stories about their past and use it as a means to teach traditions that might otherwise be forgotten. The canyon that this trail explores is named Little Dog Canyon. The Paiutes believe that not only the rock art but also the shapes of the rocks tell about the Fremont emergence from the underworld.

THE FREMONT EMERGENCE STORY (PATTERNED AFTER HOPI TRADITION)

The people were living in the third world or the underworld. They knew that there was a world above because they could hear walking sounds on the roof over them. It was cold, and wicked people lived there, so they wanted to find a way to get to the fourth world. The elders summoned four birds to try to find the way to get out. The eagle, hawk and swallow in their turn flew up and out of sight and after a long time each returned completely exhausted and unsuccessful. Then the shrike took his turn. He would find tall trees and cliffs to rest on as he made his attempts and after a very long time returned to the elders and announced that he had found the hole in the sky. The people planted a river reed which magically grew until it reached up through the hole. River reeds at that time were completely hollow so the people began to climb up inside of the reed to reach the world above. The wicked people from the underworld started up through the reed. The creator jointed the river reed trapping the evil people inside the reed. That is why the reed is jointed and you will hear a rattling sound if you pick it and shake it. The evil people started to climb up the outside of the reed to reach the new world, so the people knocked down the reed breaking it into its jointed pieces. The creator placed the eagle to guard the opening to see that the people of the underworld would never reassemble the reed and come to the new world.

The panel to the south of the driveway is thought to tell the emergence story. The panel is faint and the different elements, like the plants and animals that make up the parts of the story, are difficult to see. For your safety, please do not walk any closer to this panel.

Look across the parking lot at the rocks that form the east skyline. The largest rock is called the reed rock and is said to represent the base of the reed. The smaller rocks around it are the parts of the reed after it was broken into pieces. On what looks like the right side of the reed rock is a hold that is actually part of the eagle rock which is about six feet east of the reed rock. On the east side of the reed rock is a petroglyph of a reed, with a wavy line over it that portrays the separation between the third and fourth worlds, that was drawn by the Fremont. At equinox, in March and September, at sunrise, the eagle rock casts a shadow on the reed rock creating a large image of an eagle over the rock panel.
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Shrike Rock

The petroglyph on the side of this large rock is closer than any others that you will see along this cement walk. Please do not touch the rock art of climb on the rock. The preservation of this rock is important because it is shaped like a shrike. Use your imagination. One eye is the hold at the top of the petroglyph and the other is on top of the rock. The birds head is resting on its wing, which is most of the rock, so show that it was exhausted after if found the hole out of the underworld. In the petroglyph, the hashed lines that look like a ladder represent the reed grass in which the people climbed out of the underworld. The Paiutes claim it is telling us it was the shrike that found the hole out of the underworld and this rock is a shrine to the shrike.

Turn left, go over the bridge, up the hill and then left again.
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Five Finger Ridge

The hill on the other side of I-70 is what is left of Five Finger Ridge. Prior to destruction, the ridge crossed I-70 and the creek was between it and the frontage road. Five Finger Village was located on the highest ridges of the part of the hill that was removed. If you would like to climb Fiver Finger Ridge see Trail Guide #4.
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Spider Woman

This panel is one of several in Clear Creek Canyon that is thought to be a picture of Spider Woman and her Grandsons the Twin Warriors. Spider Woman is shown as an old woman with drooping bosoms. The two warriors are attached to her breasts with bent knees to indicate that they were young and nourished by Spider Woman. The web and captured prey to the left of her also indicates that it is Spider Woman. Spider Woman is looking up to a panel fifteen feet above it on the top of the pillar that is made up of three arrows each with two lines. It is thought to be a map. The two lower arrows show the Twin Warrior Mounds (the two small hills on this side of the frontage road) that form the mouth of Little Dog Canyon. The upper arrow is possibly either the point north of the visitors center or Five Finger Ridge. The location of Spider Woman at this point in the canyon seems to show the connection that she had with the Fremont creation story. To find out more about tradition concerning Spider Woman see Trail Guide #13.
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A Hunting Story

Hunting provided food and clothing that was vital to the Fremont. Many of the rock art panels seem to be hunting scenes. The most common animal in these scenes is the desert bighorn sheep. Animal bones from Five Finger Ridge show that they were eating a lot more deer, waterfowl and rabbits than sheep. These panels might be pictures of what the Fremont wished that they could kill. Maybe they thought that by drawing them on the cliff that they could cast a spell on the sheep and dim their senses and slow them down long enough for the hunters to kill them. A second theory is that when the Fremont did kill sheep that they thought that it was important enough to recreate the hunt in a place where others could see it. We wonder if they realized that people would be enjoying their hunting scenes 700 years later!
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Hunting Maps

The hunting scenes also possibly show the area where the hunt took place. This panel is interpreted as being a map. The seven triangles (the one farthest to the right is hard to see) are thought to be a picture of the mountains that you can see on the south horizon looking over Five Finger Ridge. Directions can be determined by the way that the two large sheep face. The top one faces the setting sun and the bottom one the rising sun, if they were parallel to the mountains. Above the triangles, the sheep are arranged around a concentric circle. Similar circles are often seen in rock art and are thought to mean water. This corresponds to the features of the area since on the other side of the mountains there is water at Puffer Lake. The panel and layout of the land also both indicate that there is another range of high mountains beyond the lake.
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Old and New

The natural color of the cliffs of Clear Creek Canyon is the white seen at the base. The reddish color on the surface is called desert varnish. The desert varnish is Iron oxide accumulated naturally on the volcanic tuff over many thousands of years. The Fremont made these drawings by striking the red cliff with a rock and exposing the underlying white layer. In the hundreds of years after the figures had been drawn some of the desert varnish has grown back. This is called patination. The human figures to the right are very characteristic of the way that the Fremont drew people. This is shown by the presence of the headdresses and the triangular or trapezoidal shape of the body. This panel is determined to be Fremont because it conforms to the Fremont style in which they drew people and animals and because it would have taken hundreds of years for the patination to have built up as it has on these figures. To the right of these figures are others that the patination has almost covered. Now compare the two human figures to the ones on the left of the panel. The figure that looks like a space man has no desert varnish over it and has been identified by the Paiutes as having been placed there by them probably in the late 1880's. Usually the rock art drawn by the Fremont can easily be distinguished from those drawn later by the Paiutes or others.
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Piute Creation Story

The more easily distinguishable panel is thought to have been drawn by the Paiutes and is about 100 years old. You can tell it from the older Fremont dots and the more modem scratches. Its authors chose this spot to tell the Paiute story of how they came to this land. The Paiute believe that they came from across the ocean and were carried by a giant in a basket or sack on his head. Can you see the waves and the giant? The people are represented by the upright lines over the persons head.
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The Court of Ceremonies Trailhead

The Court of Ceremonies trail (Trail Guide #6) starts here. If you do not have a written guide for this trail you can pick one up at the visitors center.
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Turkey Tracks

The panels on this rock show some animals not seen previously on this trail. The wavy lines on the left are possibly snakes. You can see their heads on one end. In the center panel, the three lines that converge on the bottom, are probably either the footprints of a turkey or corn that is just coming up. How many of them do you see? The panel on the right that faces the visitor center is thought to be a continuation of the emergence story that has been told nearby. The wavy line, as is seen elsewhere, is the entrance from the underworld. The dots above the line represents the people or the land on earth. The square to the right that is divided into quadrants indicate that this land in which they live is the fourth level of existence or the fourth world of the Hopi.

This is the last stop on the Parade of Rock Art Trail. Please continue along the cement walk to the visitor center.
Die Bilder in diesem Guide wurden aufgenommen von: burnsdye

Parade of Rock Art - Fremont Indian State Park Trail #5 Trail Map


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